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