Linnie Aikens Arts and Letters • HeART Haven Studios

Return to Blog–Quiet Panáche


“Kaleidescope” designed by BJ Keith for Artisan House’s C.Jeré Line




Nearly two years have passed since I began this blog. Life happens and catches us up in its whirlwind, and before we know it, a year or more has passed. What prompted me to return was stumbling upon some articles on my mother today while I was doing research for a novel I am writing. I was thrilled to discover, that finally, after 30 years, Artisan House is acknowledging my mother as the creative genius behind most of its sculptures for several decades now since Jerry Fels. I believe my last post indicated that she had retired from Artisan House, but only as Art Director. She has not only continued to help new art directors fill her shoes, but she has continued to design true metal sculpture fine art. 




My mother, BJ, never one to toot her own horn, didn't even tell her daughters about this "revealing party" in Las Vegas last year. In reading the interview with her (in Artisan House's "Meet the Artist BJ Keith"), I learned things about her childhood that even I didn't know! 




"Who could have known what the future held for a mechanically-inclined girl whose 


favorite "toy" was a tool kit, rather than the dolls her sisters favored? Whose father, a master carpenter, kept her well supplied with soft white pine and hand tools? Who later graduated to power tools and studied metal art sculpture while earning her studio art degree at California State University?" (Artisan House: 30 Year Retrospective with Artist BJ Keith)




Only recently I was stunned to discover that her father was going to send her to Art School at the Sorbonne in Paris, which she had to decline in order to marry and birth me. In 1960 women could not do both. I grieve for her loss in that, but I look to what she has accomplished while and since raising four daughters. Now much of her work is among the best sellers in the European art world (Artisan House "Entry to Euro Market").   I believe she even has some of her sculptures in museums in Hungary.




*“Kaleidescope” designed by BJ Keith for Artisan House’s C.Jeré Line


In private, she’d be the first to admit that personally it’s not her favorite piece by a long shot, but she says the public seems to really like it, for it’s been the best selling piece for over a year now.



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