Steve Kestrel grew up in southern New Mexico at the interface of the high desert and Sacramento mountains. This edge of the Chihuahuan Desert is a land of contrasts, in its ecosystems and corresponding flora and fauna. The bones of the land are there for all to see and read, if motivated and curious enough. With his family, he raised and trained quarter horses and worked cattle on ranches up through his college years. Kestrel now resides with his wife, Cindi, on a 43-acre “wildlife preserve” in Colorado’s Redstone Canyon. Of his Colorado home and studio, Kestrel says:
"My studio in Redstone Canyon is a converted 3,400 sq. ft. barn (originally built in 1952 & added to in 1984) on which I have done very extensive remodeling work. I now have it divided into working sections- stone carving room; welding & metal chasing room; mold & wax storage room; large 28’ x 40’ general work room; office, library, display room and large storage rooms.
The 43 acres we live on is much like northern New Mexico - red sandstone cliffs reaching 150-200 feet high; two smaller canyons with permanent water, ½ mile of Redstone Creek with riparian vegetation, cottonwoods & on the hills, juniper, ponderosa pine, mountain mahogany, chamisa, sage, squaw bush and many native grasses and wildflowers. I get many of the stones I carve out of the creek bed where they have come from the washed down overburden, glaciers and upstream deposits of granite, schist & gneiss, over thousands if not millions of years.
We moved here because of the landscape and the wildlife. On a fairly regular basis we see deer, coyote, rabbits, raptors, bobcats, waterfowl, elk, snakes and occasionally, bear, mountain lion, raccoon and fox.
The studio is about 600 feet from the house, so it’s a nice walk across the creek and under the cottonwoods. We designed and built much of the house ourselves in 1994, so it fits our needs very well. We are 13 miles from Fort Collins or Loveland and we love the solace and solitude it provides.
It has always nurtured and inspired us."