Visiting Artist Series


Kickassiette: Blowing the Lid Off of Crockery Mosaic with Kelley Knickerbocker


We are excited to welcome back our local Kelley Knickerbocker for her unique interpretation of a classic mosaic technique. Picassiette is thought to be derived from the French slang “piquer” (to steal) + “assiette” (plate). It is the process of transforming crockery and found objects into mosaic. What makes crockery so tempting and ideal for mosaic is not only its availability, ease of cutting, and varied glazes, but its unique curvatures, bumps and protrusions that translate to gorgeous dimensionality in tesserae.

In this technique-rich, hands-on workshop, Kelley ramps picassiette up an innovative notch – to Kickassiette! – with her unusual methods of cutting/setting not only the flat surfaces of plates and other ceramicware, but the lips, feet, rims, handles, lids, spouts, and more, including the inner clay body. 

Class includes:

  • cutting tools and techniques
  • setting in mortar to maximize sculptural/dimensional possibilities
  • building a cohesive color/material palette
  • composing with crockery’s challenging curves and bumps.

Date: Sat & Sun Aug 25-26  10:00-5:00     
Level: All Levels
Cost: $375 – all materials are included, but students are encouraged to bring items of crockery (mugs, bowls, plates, teapots, cups, mugs, lamp bases, etc) to use and share


Visual artist Kelley Knickerbocker began studying mosaic in 2005 with various artists around the US, then left a 22-yr administrative career at the University of Washington in 2006 to found a mosaic studio (Rivenworks Mosaics, Seattle) and begin designing/ fabricating/installing mosaic artwork for public, commercial, residential and gallery environments. Kelley’s ruggedly dimensional mosaic artworks – in natural materials, found objects, sometimes even the waste of the studio process itself, such as paper towels and random blobs of hardened cement mortar – are a textural distillation of her fascination with contrast, material properties and the technical challenges of mosaic construction.  Her work is widely collected and regularly exhibited in the US and abroad. Believing that interaction with other art makers is key to the freshness and depth of her mosaic practice, Kelley travels extensively speaking, collaborating, and teaching in-depth workshops on mosaic style and technique.