Website of artist Tuck Contreras /

Thumbnail of website emblem, showing a sawblade morphing into a chrysanthemum.

woodworking: The End

Tuck’s primary career has involved woodworking in one form or another for so long that closing the door on this chapter of her life is a big lifestyle change, and feels like the end of an era ... which, in many ways, it is.

Woodworking, especially on the scale that Tuck has always practiced it, is a demanding and often hazardous career. It’s especially hard on the body, and everyone reaches a point where they can’t — and really shouldn’t — do it anymore. Tuck reached her turning point a while ago, but like most of us, wasn’t yet ready or able to let go.

That changed as of June 2010 when Tuck up and “sold most of my tools” along with her most recent woodworking business, Tuck’s Dwellings, finally commiting to spending what some like to call our “golden years” working full-time on her art.


Tuck’s Dwellings, which launched in the summer of 2008, offered custom nest dwellings for barn owls, bats and kestrels, so that these may thrive in agricultural and horticultural settings as part of an overall program of integrated pest management (IPM).

The business generated considerable local interest, and by spring of the following year, was featured on the front page of the local newspaper, The Dalles Chronicle.

Banner for The Dalles Chronicle

Newspaper dateline

Tuck at work: front page photo from _The Dalles Chronicle_, 5 April 2009, online edn.

click/tap here for archived
copy of feature story in
The Dalles Chronicle,
5 April 2009 issue

The hand-crafted raptor dwellings are specifically engineered for the creatures that will use them, and for the humans who will install and service them.

One of Tuck’s dwellings,
with barn owls in residence.

The successful IPM-related business was a fitting end to her woodworking career, and she wishes its younger & energetic new owner, Denis Buschauer, all the best in what looks to be a promising new industry. Denis, a cabinet-maker by trade, will be keeping the name of the business, but updating its website, as Tuck takes on a more peripheral role as consultant.

FINIS tail-piece

Ornamental woodcut (known as a tail-piece) from an early-modern book of natural science, published at London in 1726.

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