John Cheer

John Cheer


Cheer Clay Studio
Allentown, PA

John Cheer was born in 1966 in Communist China and raised in Shanghai and Peking. As a child, he had a natural gift for taking things apart and putting them back together again. At the age of 8, he spontaneously made an entire Chinese circus out of child’s clay, in miniature, including every act from bicyclists to twirling plates.

After living in Hong Kong for two years, he immigrated with his family to California at age 13 and became a U.S. citizen. During his high school years, an inspirational art teacher led him to pursue his interests in clay and sculpture. While rising to the challenge of supporting himself in high school, he also studied autobody and mechanics and eventually had his own small auto body and paint business.

In 1991, he relocated to the northeast and in 1993 became a full-time clay artist, selling his work at fine art and craft shows throughout the country. His early work was traditional and functional, gradually evolving over the years into decorative and abstract contemporary. The majority of finished pieces combine fused clay and glass. In recent years, he has added copper wire to some creations.

John does about 24 shows per year, primarily along the east coast and the south, but has gone as far as Texas, Colorado, and Arizona. He has won over 85 awards for his work over the years at fine art and craft shows. He has been featured in Ceramics Monthly and Crafts Report and exhibited his “Soul Search” lamp and fountain at the State Museum in Harrisburg, PA.

RCN’s Channel 53, Ebru TV’s “Blank Canvas” segment featured him in February 2010, Season 2:4.

In 2013, John designed and created “Mandalas For World Peace”, a 600 pound, 9 x 5 foot clay sculpture, funded by the North Port Art Center. He guided the project to completion which was contributed to by 14 other artists from near and far, ranging in ages from 12 – 69. The sculpture resides at Warm Mineral Springs in North Port, Florida, and is beauteous to behold.

Artist Statement

Inspired by the energy and flow of nature, my decorative clay pieces each possess an unmistakable spirit.

Stoneware clay is wheel-thrown and hand sculpted into a unique design idea. Bisque ware is glazed and high-fired in a propane gas reduction kiln up to 2800 degrees. During the glazing process, crushed glass is added to certain pieces. This is a process long and delicate, perfecting the fusion of stoneware & porcelain, glass & glaze.

I believe, as humans, we are all creators. Only our imagination will change our physical future. Artistic imagination is therefore not something to be taken lightly. For that reason, in my work, I strive for beauty and wonder.

John Cheer, Clay Artist