Jason Burruss is a long time artist with creative sophistication in geometric jewelry fabrication, djing, and communal gathering ( Purple Couch ) through elaborate collaborations and endless passion. Fusing and crafting a unique blend of gems through precise and galactic-like silver wiring, he displays a great dose of evolving phases through intuitive hand crafting and provides a magical outlook with each result. He designs everything from rings to pendents to necklaces and continues to perfect his craft while being inspired by nature, the world around him, and his partner. Intrigued by his self reflection, I reached out to him to discover more about his upbringing, crystals, the creative process, inspirations, music, purple couch events, new projects, visions, collaborations, motivations, goals, his next chapter in Northern California, and much much more! We want to say thank you so much for hosting our 1st Street Ritual showcase this past Spring in Denver, Colorado and we look forward to many more collaborations with you! Below we feature 14 of his creations and an in-depth interview
An Interview with Jason Burruss
1. Happy to connect! Share with us the story behind your jewelry fabrications. How and when did this all begin?
Thanks! Appreciate the feature and I love Street Ritual music! I started making jewelry over 20 years ago. When I was a kid I became obsessed with creating art with my surroundings. I experimented with many mediums and many processes to create functional wearable art.
From the time I was 12 to 20 years old, I experimented with macrame, soft glass fuzing, lapidary/stone cutting, metal casting, ceramics, and borosilicate glass blowing. I became particularly obsessed with symmetry and design aesthetics, and my art always involved geometric or mathematical designs since I was a young kid.
My obsession with silver wire jewelry in particular started around 13 years ago while I was living in Blacksburg, VA. A friend showed me a basic coil and I quickly adapted to the medium. I started designing unique silver and gemstone rings and pendants using the same design aesthetics and geometric skills I had been disciplining my whole life.
2. What’s your favorite crystal to blend in with your designs?
I have a personal love for Emeralds, from Colombian or Nigerian mines. However, I also love using raw multi-colored Sapphire crystals from Sri Lanka and surrounding regions. These gems are costly and rare to source so I reserve them for my favorite artworks.
3. Asides this medium, you’re also a DJ and event producer! In what ways would you say each field blends with each other?
I saw a recent study that listed Event Manager as the fifth most stressful job in America out of a survey of two hundred jobs. Ironically, at the same time the same study found that being a Jeweler was the fifth least stressful job in the world. This is a pretty accurate example of the balance my life has become, from having intense deadlines to being able to relax and create when and what I enjoy.
Through the stress, it is completely worth it to host a thematic community event and create a safe place for hundreds and sometimes thousands of attendees to celebrate something beautiful together. My events (Purple Couch Events) focus on thematic music and art experiences, and merge creative worlds and passions together for incredible nights that are like nothing else I have ever attended. We (myself and my amazing team) do this all for the love of these communities, the music, and the art.
Music has always been a part of my life. Whether playing electronic or acoustic percussion, mixing, or simply finding the best music from every region of this world; music has been something that I have enjoyed since I was young as well. Raised on Boards of Canada, RJD2, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, and other eclectic electronica and finding my dancing roots in the jazz/funk scene of the SouthEast, I was influenced to enjoy amazing music and percussion.
After playing percussion in several bands when I was 20-22 in local gigs in Richmond, VA, I have always enjoyed bringing amazing music to chill spaces. Over a decade later I now have had the privilege to play legendary venues like The Fox Theatre in Boulder, CO and Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver. Nothing is quite like playing on Funktion 1’s for a Purple Couch Event in Denver though, nothing will ever compare to the feeling and support these events bring.
I am currently focusing on my solo DJ sets, and have a Purple Couch West Coast tour scheduled this Summer with Wu Wei, Hypha, sAuce, and special guests for the month of August in CA and Oregon! Tour dates will be announced on June 19th on Facebook and Instagram.
4. Are you currently working on any new projects?
Always. I coined the term “perpetual evolution” years back to describe how I never feel like I plateau in my career. I am always learning, always taking my craft to the next level. These days when I challenge myself it is either through an elaborate pre-planned collaboration with another amazing artist, or a geometric mandala style talisman of my own creation.
Borosilicate Glass and a 12 ct. Scissor Cut Bi-Color Tourmaline
5. Who’s been an inspiration for you all along?
I have infinite respect for my friends and peers Andy Lucas, Chris Ser, and Casey Swanson (SD). When my hands first touched silver back in 2002 these artists were light years ahead of me in skill. Each artist conceptualized a style of design so unique and distant than any form of traditional jewelry design that their art seemed of alienistic origin. This sense of originality and creativity really inspired me to always stay true to my own original design and focus on jewelry so unique it defines me and my art. My gratitude to my friends and all artists who push their own creative boundaries to conceptualize something new and original.
6. What types of collaborations have you engaged in with jewelry?
I prefer to collaborate with friends, generally I work with people I know in person whom I believe in their art and the unique nature of their design. I work with skilled gem cutters like my good friend Chris Lawrie, metalworkers/jewelers like my close friends Kelsey Alexandra, BKA/Ben Anders, and David Holsapple, and glass collaborations with so many artists and peers that I could not even begin to list them all.
Out of everyone I have had the privilege to work with over the years, the most respected artists are Saul Bell award winner Andy Lucas, Japanese glass artists Rose Roads, Yoshinori Kondo, Tomomi Handa, Akio, and Takao Miyake, and lastly my incredible friends from Everdream Studio in Colorado, WJC, Joe Peters, N8 Miers, and Eusheen Goines.
7. What’s a constant motivation?
Nature. Everyday it surrounds us. If I ever feel inspired to create I simply find a peaceful place to relax and it isn’t long until I get a creative idea urging me to make more beautiful art.
8. In words, describe the feeling that you get when you tap into fabrication.
Years back my creative process was much more analytical, however after dedicating over a decade to my craft, something clicked and the process became much more intuitive. These days I feel the term “flow” and I sometimes know what I am creating without actually knowing. Designs are just as much subconscious as conscious for me and often feel channeled or intuitively driven.
9. What would you like to accomplish this year?
I often feel like I have done everything I have ever wanted, only to find more incredible ideas on the horizon. After years of traveling and hosting incredible events, I am now at a point in my career that I just want to settle down and create more jewelry. I will be focusing on my new relaxing life living by the ocean in Northern California. Of course there will be plenty of travels and adventures as always!
10. What’s your creative process from? How does it all begin?
I think of my work as an aesthetic display of the gemstone or glass. Something protective yet decorative that helps serve the wearable function. I start with a gemstone or glass piece and use color coordination to match other gems to the design before beginning to set stones. I have never been much for sketching, my design process is mapped in my mind, and I visualize my design before beginning.
11. Do you have any daily rituals?
My only real daily rituals are creating jewelry, listening to harmonic bass music, and enjoying delicious organic foods and drinks. I find that a terpene rich fruit and vegetable diet helps one have the balanced endorphins to maintain a healthy and motivated state of mind. This healthy diet helps me stay focused and creative, surging with new energy and new ideas.
Enjoying beautiful days, nature, and conversations with my love and best friend Lindsey has become a daily ritual since we met a year ago. We are truly inseparable and deeply enamored with each other. She helps me stay nourished and loved while I create for long periods of time. Her help everyday in so many wonderful ways is part of the reason why I can create so many artworks, and stay happy and creative while working long hours.
Thank you for the thoughtful interview and my love to the whole Street Ritual team. It is music like the Street Ritual record label that helps keep me in a creative state every day. <3