Respectful Transitions creates art as unique as the trees from which they come.
When it’s time to leave your home and the trees you love or if your tree topples in a storm, Tom Peter’s tree art keeps your memories of the trees you love alive.
Written by Bill Hudson, WCCO-TV
November 25, 2010
(Tom) Peter is like a preacher in and outdoor cathedral, officiating the ceremony of passage from one life to the next.
– Bill Hudson, WCCO TV
It is art in your hands of the property you used to live on, a legend of your lifetime.
– Rolfe McAfee
Tom has the rare gift of deeply seeing and supporting the connection between a person and his or her favorite tree.
The pieces he created for my family are among our greatest treasures. They encapsulate our love for the old home place that we left behind. And the joy he brings to this work is infectious!
– Barbara McAfee
Tree Guy crafted a beautiful vessel from a branch that fell from a large willow we named Home Tree. It was loved by all who visited our land and we cherish the memory it provides us.
– Don B.
When you’re about to lose the treasured tree from whose limbs you swung as a child, Tom crafts a sacred vessel from the wood. A one-in-the-world keepsake. Tom transforms trees into works of eternal art.
– Robert Davis
The opportunity to turn what felt like a little tragedy (Dutch elm disease) into an object of beauty and usefulness was so wonderful. it caused less stress at the time of the tree removal.
The bowls are a lovely reminder of the creation and destruction reality of life and its inherent cycles.
– Kate Lynch
Nature’s beauty heals and inspires me. Tom’s art preserves these qualities in a timeless form.”
– Lee, Sky Creek
Tom Peter’s masterful artwork has a special place in my family’s heart and home. Every time I see it I consider its one-of-a-kind uniqueness to be reflective of the treasure located within each of us. Sacred, eternal, and loving are just some of the adjectives that fit this original vessel.
– Mike Dooley, NY Times bestselling author of Infinite Possibilities
The vessels that Tom creates invite the giver and receiver to offer memories and stories of the origin of the wood and in that process heal and hold a shared experience. Tom understands the objective of transforming the wood and honors those who invite and trust him with their fallen tree.
We asked Tom to create a vessel from a maple tree which had for generations offered sap in the spring for making maple syrup. He saw the tap holes and was able to visualize how to create a vessel that could place the tap hole in a pleasing and creative way in the vessel. Tom takes a tree branch or trunk and will release the vessel within. In that regard, he is the Michelangelo of wood turning. The vessels he creates overflow with commemoration and tribute.
– Julie and Bill Brown, Cumberland, Wisconsin
There used to be a huge Elm tree in my Linden Hills neighborhood that I just adored. It was such a grounding and comforting force in my life. Its trunk was so wide that I would sometimes go and stand in its embrace. That tree fell down in a storm the very day my mother died in Chicago in August of 2013.
About a week later, after returning home from Chicago, I braced myself to go see what was left of “my tree”. A man with an arborist’s helmet was examining what was left of the huge trunk. I was curious so I went up to him and we began to talk. I told him about my mother’s death and the tree’s death happening on the same day. I then asked him what he was doing there. He introduced himself as Tom, the Tree Guy, and explained how he made bowls and other pieces of art out of fallen trees. He offered to make a bowl for me out of “my tree”. I was so touched by his offer. I felt like he was some kind of a tree spirit or angel who magically appeared that day to comfort me. I got to choose the exact spot from which he created the bowl.
A short while later I received my bowl with the date of my mother’s and the tree’s deaths engraved in the bottom. It is an exquisite treasure and its significance to me is deep and indescribable.
– Laurie Jacobi
My elm was one of the last on my block to go. As I watched them go down over the years in my little St. Louis Park neighborhood, I was sad, and I was more determined than ever to keep mine alive.
Grief, in general in our culture, is not well honored. And grief from the loss of a tree- not many people understand that. This is why I am forever grateful that I found Tom.
Tom understands grief from the loss of a tree. While he could not keep my tree alive, he provided the most profound services: in addition to creating pieces of beauty for me from my tree, he attended as the tree was being removed. He supported me as the tree came down, and he was there to work with the contractors to harvest the best pieces of the trunk with which to work his magic.
I still have these pieces, the absolutely beautiful turned vessels. They are treasured items in my home, and they will forever remind me of my beloved elm.
– Tracy Leavenworth