"When I myself turned to teaching nearly twenty years ago, Jim’s (James Krenov's) advice to me was simple: If you want to teach this craft, you need to practice this craft. In a conversation in his small workshop shortly before we began our inaugural program at our school, he suggested that it is the heart that is so vital in our work. That teaching should include the how, but more importantly it is the why that inspires students.
Over the years I have been blessed to have the opportunity to work with hundreds of aspiring amateurs, many have gone on to make a living at the craft, and a few have turned to teaching to share this craft with future generations. Refael is one such student, who is not only one of the finest craftsman to come out of our school, but has a gift for sharing his passion for the craft with others.
On the first day of each term at our school, I share with the students another of my favorite authors. In John Brown's book, The Welsh Stick Chair, he writes:
“I live in a beautiful place, I work at something I love, I make enough money to live, and my demands on the world's resources are very meagre.”
These words continue to best convey all that I hope for my students. It makes me happy that Refael is doing exactly that. I write this testimonial with selfish hesitation, as I had hoped he would return someday to teach at our school, something that I have not given up on yet. Until then he has chosen to teach our beautiful craft in his beautiful homeland."
Robert Van-Norman, BC, Canada