I use the Chinese character Zhong to mark my pots for three different reasons. The first reason relates to the literal meaning of the character which means “middle.” Since my work is made primarily on the potters wheel the symbol is appropriate because work made in this manner must constantly refer to the center of the mass of spinning clay. Without first centering the clay and afterward maintaining it uniformly about the central axis it is difficult, if not impossible, to make a successful pot. This reference doesn’t have to be rigid but it must always be considered.
The second meaning the symbol has for me is of my own creation. I think of the vertical line as being symbolic of the infinite and of the rectangular section as being symbolic of the finite. To me that is the purpose of creative work: an informing of the finite with the infinite.
The third reason I use the symbol is to pay homage to the sources of my inspiration. I am indebted to the numerous potters of Asia, some known and others anonymous, who have so beautifully expressed through clay the deepest aspects of human experience.