BUNDLE: Abstract Design for Mosaic and Mastering Mud with Kelley Knickerbocker

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Mastering Mud course description:

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

Simply Abstract course description:

Abstract design can be intimidating, and more than a little confusing. Where do we begin? How do we decide where the energy, weight, or balance of an artwork will be when the composition isn’t based on anything in our objective reality? How do we express meaning, emotion, and story with just line, shape, and space?

Mosaic Arts Online presents Kelley Knickerbocker - abstract mosaic artist extraordinaire - to walk us through her unique approach to abstract design for mosaic, and show us how vital good design and composition are for our artworks’ success.

Not only does Kelley answer those - and more - questions with her usual humor and thoroughness, but she defines terms and gives practical examples and exercises for creating simple frameworks of line and shape that can then be brought to rich, complex life by the lush texture, value and rhythm of our mosaic lines.

Keeping the basic principles of art and design close at hand (Kelley shares her favorite design book), as well as the many functions of line and shape in design (handy templates abound), Kelley shows us how to find relationships and stories in basic lines and shapes and how they’re occupying the space they’re in. For example, as soon as you bisect an open space with a line you have created two spaces with a relationship to one another. Will that relationship be tense? Peaceful? Balanced? Competitive? These are the choices you’ll learn to make and exploit in order to most effectively begin conveying an idea or mood.

If you tend to overthink your plan, never fear; Kelley has a couple of fun exercises to give you something unexpected to respond to and keep spontaneity alive in your compositions. And as Kelley lays out an effective technique for bridging representational and non-objective design, you may be surprised to find you’ve already been venturing into abstract!

After sharing all the details of her abstract design philosophy, Kelley builds a small abstract mosaic, talking through each decision and technique along the way.

This course will show you a clear, fun, fascinating path into the abstract design realm. Whether you’re ready to take big steps or small, you’ll be taking them with confidence.

Included in this course is a PDF for download with a list of materials, resources, and practical templates.

Your Instructor

Kelley Knickerbocker
Kelley Knickerbocker

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.

Course Curriculum

  First Section
Available in days
days after you enroll

Courses Included with Purchase

Line, Shape, and Space: Abstract Design for Mosaic with Kelley Knickerbocker
Creating story with line and shape
Kelley Knickerbocker
Mastering Mud with Kelley Knickerbocker
The Dirt on Managing Mortar as a Mosaic Adhesive
Kelley Knickerbocker

Original Price: $344

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 14 days and we will give you a full refund.

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