Gordon Burnett was born in Fraserburgh, Scotland and served an apprenticeship as a lettercutter with William McKay & Sons, Granite Merchants, Aberdeen.
He studied jewellery and textiles at Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen, then at the Royal College of Art, London, graduating in 1980. Subsequently for ten years he traded in London as Burnett’s Interior Metalwork whilst teaching part time at Camberwell School of Art, De Montfort University and London University.
His range of work is diverse: jewellery, feature clocks for company headquarters, civic silverware, trophies, ceremonial furniture. He has explored the redefinition of cultural issues using digital manufacturing during a year spent at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
Teaching Three Dimensional Design full time for the last twenty years at Gray's School of Art, in 2002 his research contribution to the field was acknowledged with a Readership in Craft.