Oregon Coast Council for the Arts welcomes Jacob Accurso and his pottery to the Coastal Oregon Visual Artists Showcase (COVAS) on the second floor of the Visual Arts Center.
“Ora et labora” is a fine representation of Accurso’s careful skills as a potter. Pottery found Jacob Accurso, when he was a novice monk at Mount Angel Abbey. Learning to center clay from a Benedictine monk who learned it from another monk, Brother Jacob embraced a long monastic tradition of artistic work as a complement to contemplative life.
He thrived at the wheel, cultivating the patience to master a craft and learning the history of one of the oldest art forms on earth.
One of the Northwest’s premiere potters, Jeff Procter, offered Jacob an apprenticeship and became a generous mentor and close friend. Jacob got a job as a production potter for Pottery West throwing thousands of bowls for Mo’s Restaurants and moved to his now permanent home on the coast.
He has studied with some of the best potters of the 20th century, including Tom Coleman, Pat Horsley, Warren MacKenzie, Ellen Currans, Frank Boyden and Jay Jensen.
Jacob has been honored to help carry the art and traditions forward himself, as a teacher. As an artist-in-residence with Oregon’s Artist In Education program, he spent two weeks at a time in public schools all over the state, teaching students about clay and involving them in his creative process.
Like other working professionals, he exhibited in juried shows, sold in galleries and attended art fairs.
After taking time to pursue other interests and careers in law enforcement, social work and health coaching, Jacob has returned to the wheel full-time.
In his woodland studio, he produces pieces that are pleasing to the eye, comfortable in the hands, useful in everyday life and durable enough to last for generations.
Though Jacob did not pursue a lifelong commitment to monastic life, his years making plates, bowls and goblets for everyday use at the Abbey continues to shape his relationship with pottery to this day by the labor of his hands. He continues to perfect his wheel-thrown forms, learn new texturing techniques and develop vibrant glazes with minerals and locally sourced clays. “Ora et labora” as the Benedictines say: prayer and work.
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