Tilting at windmills


There’s only one real downside to being a potter. Every once in a while I realise that I’ve been using the same 4 bowls, plates, and mugs, when I have a whole cupboard stacked with pottery piles deep. I have kids, and honestly don’t enjoy the sound of smashing dishes any more than the next person, especially those I’ve made by hand.  So, sometimes it feels like  most of the time I make pottery just to store in a very nice cabinet. I’m sure my husband would agree.

I made this plate a while ago.  The design is of course not mine, but Picasso’s – a 1955 illustration that was drawn for Les Lettres francaises, and became probably the best known illustration of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.  I drew the design on the plate with a bottle fitted with a really teeny tip, so that it flowed similar to a pen, and just sketched it out. I think it turned out ok – it makes a great plate to eat a piece of chocolate cake (not included!).  Also is a good reminder that some imaginary battles really are futile.

Here’s the passage from Don Quixote referring to tilting at windmills, in case you finally put your Nortons Anthology of english lit in your last garage sale:

Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a broodfrom off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.”

“What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.

“Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.”

“Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone.”

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