Arte et Labore
Despite the very rainy Sunday and dozens of dripping people tromping into her home, Mary Kennedy was a gracious host. She shared the story of their labors in creating this masterpiece of style and design. She showed us a photo album of before pictures. They have literally transformed a place that seemed on the brink of being condemned into a craftsman-style wonder of artistic beauty. The building had originally been used for railroad workers to sleep in. After the railroad left Ojai, it was still a type of boarding facility.
Keit and Kennedy spent many years turning the place into a home that now has the same warmth and charm as their RTK studios. Beautiful wood and decorative tile-work are throughout the house, including a tile floor mat and oak tree tile mural in the kitchen and the stunning blue-tiled bathroom with turtle tile mat on the floor. This is truly an aptly named home: "Arte et Labore."
Photo above is from the Holiday Home Look In/Ojai Music Festival website. The Holiday Home Look In is an annual fundraiser for the Ojai Music Festival presented by the Ojai Festivals Women's Committee.
Keit and Kennedy completely renovated the 1928 Cañada Street house inside and outside in 1995, creating a studio reminiscent of a craft shop from the Middle Ages. They did all the work themselves using stones from Ojai creeks for the outside of the bungalow. Inside you feel transported to another time and place.
If you wish to visit the studio, please call first to make an appointment. They are a small and very busy shop. Otherwise just drive by and enjoy the outside of the studio.
The information about RTK Studios and the photo on this page are from my book, A Photo Guide to Fountains and Sculptures of Ojai: Art, History & Architecture.