SANTA CRUZ, CA - Mr. Winstead Burns, a retired high school art teacher, has been working with clay all of his life. For twenty-five years, he taught teenagers how to take lumps of clay and form them into beautiful works of art. He informed TBNN, "Whenever we began working with clay, the results were the same. Some of the pieces turned out very nice. When that happened, the kids were very pleased with them. They wanted to show them off, and always took the pieces home with them. Unfortunately, some of the other pieces were always a mess. They looked off-center, crooked, and just a wreck. Those pieces certainly missed the mark. They weren't good for much except to be thrown out. Sometimes we just tossed them back into the kiln until they burned up."
Mr. Burns retired three years ago and opened his own pottery shop near the coast. He enjoys spending his days talking with tourists while he spins his wheel and forms new works of art. His life was moving along uneventfully until last week. That's when a lump of clay spoke to him. According to Mr. Burns, "I pulled out a new lump of clay and was about to toss it onto my spinning wheel. That's when the weird thing happened. It just told me what to do. Its exact words were, 'Make sure you make me for honorable use.' Now that scared me a little bit. But it didn't say anything else, so I just did my best and made a nice vase out of it" (see below).
Mr. Burns told us that he immediately contacted the local university, UCSC, but the art department simply did not believe him. Dr. Evelyn Simpson-Wells-Thomas, head of the UCSC art department, told Mr. Burns, "Science has proven scientifically that things like this just can't scientifically happen. Clay scientifically doesn't speak. Miracles don't happen unless we want them to."
Mr. Burns remains convinced of what he heard. "I know what happened that day. I also know what the bible says about this (click here). However, my experience tells me that the clay spoke. There is no doubt about it. He told me what to do. I've never thought of clay as being alive before, but now I have new respect for what I am working with. It's almost like the clay could decide if he wanted to be something honorable or dishonorable. He seemed to have a free will of his own."