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
Kickassiette Course description:
Mosaic Arts Online is thrilled to have Kelley Knickerbocker share one of her unique and creative approaches to creating mosaic art. You will never see crockery, broken china or your grandma's tea cups the same again. Kelley brings her enthusiasm and knowledge of not just how to create mosaic art with these broken items, but also touches on important abstract art principles such as composition, balance, movement, negative space and continuity.
Kelley takes you step by step through picking a palette, cutting various types of crockery to isolate/save their unique features and maximize their potential as mosaic tesserae, and composing and designing mosaics with crockery. And along the way she illuminates the magic of embedding crockery tesserae directly into mortar/thinset such that the mosaic is structurally stable, doesn’t require grouting, and takes on a sculptural quality.
With the techniques Kelley lays out in this online course you’ll have the knowledge you need to confidently create an entire abstract mosaic from crockery or add the sculptural dimensionality of crockery to your own unique mix of materials in a mosaic.
There is a PDF to download that has all the tools, materials and resources to get started.
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.