Description for Mastering Mud:
Curious about or frustrated with mortar* as a mosaic adhesive? Then you’re in the right place. Mosaic Arts Online presents Kelley Knickerbocker and her latest course "Mastering Mud." Kelley has been setting every imaginable type of tessera directly into mortar to create mosaic for nearly two decades, and in this online course she walks you through her favorite mortar-wrangling techniques for super strong bonding, clean working (yes, it can be done!), and a great finished look. In addition, you’ll discover that setting into mortar eliminates the need for grout in most instances and makes working with wildly varied heights of materials a breeze.
Step by step, from scratch coat to finishing coat, Kelley guides you through the correct consistency for different applications of mortar, mixing with water vs a polymer admix, tinting with dry or wet tints, maneuvering the stuff around on the substrate, and three different methods of setting tesserae into place (mortar bed, backbuttering, and the baggie method). Along the way, of course, she demystifies all kinds of terms like slaking, pot life, load rate, and read-through.
Along with all the technical and structural information about mortar, Kelley hopes to plant the notion in your creative psyche that mortar can be as vital a visual design element as your tesserae and your substrate (what?!). By showing a wealth of images, and building a mostly-mortar mosaic from start to finish, you’ll come away with a new appreciation – and new inspiration - of how mortar can be a gorgeous, strong addition to your mosaic designs.
*The terms thinset, cement mortar, mortar, and tile adhesive will be defined and then used interchangeably in this course.
Description for Shard Logic:
Are you wondering for the nth time what to do with that pile of random scraps and shards of material that Kelley Knickerbocker refers to as a “Crap Library?” Leftover tesserae, offcuts, accidents, samples, and bits we feel obligated to pull out of the floor-sweepings because they’re expensive, rare, meaningful or just beautiful. Not much of any one thing, and none of it “matches” the rest (curved, straight, jagged, right angles, different sizes, colors, etc.).
The answer is here! Mosaic Arts Online is thrilled to present this course as Kelley unpacks how to assess random scraps, see (or create) the rhythm in them, and join them together into one cohesive vibrant, active mosaic. You’ll discover that the unruly dissonance of your pile of shards is actually their visual/textural strength!
In this course, through demos, illustrations and building one 12” x 9” mosaic and one 4” x 4” sample board, you will learn:
- How to see (or create) the corresponding aspects of very dissimilar scraps
- How to choose a neutral unifying material that pulls your discordant scraps together
- The importance of dissonance in creating energy and interest in an andamento
- The importance of contrast, value, shape and texture in the success of a mosaic
- How uniformity can make areas of “chaos” really pop
- How to effect a “chaos gradient,” and why you might want to
- Two new andamenti with specific types/shapes of scrap
Using a quantity of random scrap from her own crap library, Kelley builds in real time a 12” x 9” mosaic starting with uniform shapes of the neutral unifying material and progressing into variations of materials and sizes which crescendo in organized chaos to a raucous but balanced finale. If you’re a careful perfectionist this course will show you how to effectively bust some spontaneous moves, and if you’re a wild, intuitive sticker-downer this course will show you how adding strategic uniformity can intensify and enhance your wild style.
Included in this course is a PDF for download of Kelley's suggested tools, materials, and resources. Now start saving those floor scraps.
Visual artist Kelley Knickerbocker left a 22-yr administrative career at the University of Washington in 2006 to found a mosaic studio (Rivenworks Mosaics, Seattle) and direct her accumulated skills in project management and planning toward designing/fabricating/installing mosaic artwork for public, commercial, residential and gallery environments.
Kelley’s ruggedly dimensional mosaics, in a broad range of materials, are a textural distillation of her fascination with contrast, material properties and the technical challenges of mosaic construction. Sharing that fascination and learning from other art makers are keys to the freshness of Kelley’s mosaic practice, and she travels extensively throughout North America speaking, collaborating and teaching in-depth workshops on mosaic style and technique.
Kelley’s fine art mosaic panels have been accepted to numerous national and international juried exhibitions, and many reside in private collections. She is an active member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists.