Bringing Order to Joyful Chaos

Kelley Knickerbocker returned to Piece by Piece to work with participant artists to practice using a variety of materials, creating a piece that flowed from a quiet, regular layout to having a more vibrant energy. Kelley encourages everyone—both experienced artists and new—to experiment with color and texture in their work. “We worked with the concept of combining uniformity and variation in a mosaic, and how doing so can result in rich, complex visual and textural harmony,” said Kelley. “Each artist started with neutral, ‘boring’ materials set very regularly, then added incremental variations in materials, movement, color, and texture to form a wild but coherent ‘chaos gradient.’ With all the available materials at Piece by Piece, this was serious fun!”

She is right. Everyone had a great time, and Piece by Piece has a wonderful variety of recycled materials, the majority of it donated. In this project, we used repurposed white tile alongside bits of glass, ceramic, and dichroic pieces. Workshops like this allow everyone to try out different materials and see what resonates with them the most.

Our visiting artists bring a fresh perspective to the creative process as well as helping to hone special techniques and styles. Mosaic has so many facets, and this aspect of our program enables participants to find their unique voice through experimentation.

“Teaching at Piece by Piece is always a delight and inspiration,” said Kelley. “The artists are unfailingly game for whatever mosaic concept or technique I’m springing on them, and their brave, joyous, and determined approaches to expression (and the glorious results) invite me to be as open as they are to new possibilities.”

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