Kevin Kuester attributes his artwork to the seasonal lifestyle on Nantucket "You have to have hobbies out here - especially in the wintertime!". Kevin has been living on Nantucket full time for twelve years, after retiring here when he sold his design and advertising firm. With a background in art and design, Kevin found himself attending a bird carving class at the 1800 House in 2007. He made a 'Yellowlegs' carving for the Festival of Wreaths, which Liz Winship, with her exceptional eye for unique artwork, bought at the auction. Kevin says he never intended to sell his work but Liz expressed an interest in having his creations at Nantucket Looms.
For a while, Kevin created bird carvings until he felt they had run their course and therefore turned his focus to carving whales. It wasn't until the Snowy Owl sightings on the island in 2014 that Kevin had the idea to create the owl carvings. 'Nobody was doing owls", he says, so he began working on a 'family' of them. Beginning with a simple block of wood, usually pine but sometimes basswood, a rough shape is cut. Once the position and shape is established, Kevin works by hand to carve out the details with sculpting tools before adding six or eight layers of paint to give the piece more depth. Sometimes, whole finished pieces are carved from just one solid block of wood, while other times, smaller details are added. It is his attention to detail that makes his work so impressive. It is obvious to see in the quality of the carvings and in the way Kevin speaks about his work. His art is truly a labor of love. If you are interested in Kevin Kuester’s handcrafted owls, please call us at 508-228-1908.