Jason Burnett (Bessemer)
The Maker: Jason Burnett
Alabama artist Jason Burnett creates one-of-a-kind clocks – when he can find the time.
As digital director of Flower magazine and the websites Oyster Obsession (which features the web’s largest collection of oyster recipes and events) and Birmingham Gardening Today, Burnett spends much of his day creating and editing online content.
Before taking those jobs, the Midfield native and UAB graduate spent 24 years working with Time Inc.’s Lifestyle Digital group in Birmingham. He founded MyRecipes, a popular website that features thousands of recipes from magazines and books across the country.
Somehow, during those busy workweeks, Burnett still made time to create unique clocks from found objects and sculpted materials. “I grew up drawing and painting, and later got interested in sculpture,” he said. One day, while preparing a sculpture for an art show, Burnett came up with his timely idea. “I had made 12 small chairs, but they just didn’t look right,” he remembered. “So the week before the show, I built a clock case and attached them to it.”
The clock of a dozen chairs struck a chord with showgoers, and soon Burnett was making artful timepieces from clocks adorned with machine and auto parts, cabinet hardware, old trophies and other found objects. He started showing and selling his works at Bare Hands Gallery in Birmingham, Marcia Weber’s Art Objects Gallery in Montgomery and at shows such as the Kentuck Festival of the Arts in Northport.
“But once MyRecipes got going, I had to put everything on pause for about 10 years,” he said. “I just made a few clocks on commission. But I loved creating them, so I kept it up.”
Now, from his home overlooking the Black Warrior River in Jefferson County, Burnett passes his spare time building original, eye-catching art clocks.
“I’m always prowling around looking for things to use,” he said. “I find my materials in junkyards and flea markets, and on eBay.”
His minute-marking pieces have included such works as the silver and black “Supercharged,” composed of a salvaged mantel clock body, caped trophy figure, auto emblem and doorbell escutcheon; and the sleek “Time to Go,” a bedside table-sized piece made from a salvaged alarm clock, golden rocket trophy, drawer pulls and sprinkler diffuser blade.
“The ideas behind most of my clocks come to me as I start putting them together,” Burnett said. “I just do what I want until it’s finished.”
While some clients find Burnett’s clocks whimsical, others search for deeper meanings behind the moving hands. He likes to sum up his pieces with a simple idea: “Clocks celebrate time and remind us to savor a moment while they measure its passing.”
The Product: Handcrafted clocks and timepieces created from found objects.
Take Home: One of Burnett’s smaller clocks ($300).
For more information on his art, go to http://www.jasonburnett.com/
or visit the Marcia Weber Art Objects Gallery, 118 East Bridge St., Wetumpka, Alabama 36092; www.marciaweberartobjects.com.