BUNDLE: Mastering Mud & Mind the Gap with Kelley Knickerbocker

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Mind the Gap course description:

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you did not fill your entire substrate with tesserae? Does that seem foreign to you? If leaving space on your substrate is something you would like to learn on your mosaic art journey we have the course for you!

In this online course, Kelley Knickerbocker introduces her signature methods for using space as a design element. When mosaic is the functional skin on walls and floors, full-coverage density is mandatory. But in fine art mosaic we can leave spaces for contrasting effect without compromising structural integrity.

But why design open spaces into mosaic? Well, sometimes it's a purely practical consideration of time or budget. But it’s an aesthetic consideration as well. It's precisely because mosaic is so dense that incorporating space can be so visually effective. Dense areas appear denser, and the void space(s) deeper, calmer. Like juxtaposing two complementary colors: they enhance one another like no other combination can.

There are many approaches to incorporating open space into mosaic. In this online course Kelley covers six more uses for open space and shows you how to mix, match, and combine them. In this course Kelley demonstrates in real time how to build an ungrouted mosaic start to finish (in materials of your choice) setting directly into thinset mortar, that incorporates three or four different uses of space. As you build you'll be learning how open spaces can strengthen a design and allow you to work larger (and faster!); how to apply and manipulate mortar with a steel spatula, set your tesserae around open areas, and finish off the surface of open areas of mortar to keep them consistent and create a clean and fabulous effect.

This is a great course for anyone starting out in mosaic art or has more experience. There is a PDF with suggested tools, materials, and resources to get started.

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

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

Mastering Mud with Kelley Knickerbocker
The Dirt on Managing Mortar as a Mosaic Adhesive
Kelley Knickerbocker
Mind the Gap: Space as a Mosaic Design Element with Kelley Knickerbocker
Exploring the other dimension of mosaic
Kelley Knickerbocker

Original Price: $294

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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