Richard Russ was born in 1971 in Terrace, British Columbia, but spent most of his childhood growing up in Skidegate on Haida Gwaii. Richard was raised by his grandparents, Wes and Bubby Pearson, who taught him what it meant to live off the land. With their guidance, Richard learned traditional Haida values and practices, including hunting and fishing.
Once he had grown older, Richard was designated to be one of the original Watchmen of southern Haida Gwaii. This role was both an honor and a privilege. He received exclusive training and education, which provided him with the skills and knowledge he required to undertake such a significant responsibility. Beyond this role, Richard has also been called upon to create traditional button blankets for many community events, including graduation ceremonies and potlatches.
Richard belongs to the Eagle Clan of the Juus Xaaydaga, and his family lineage consists of Hummingbird, Sculpin, Black Whale, Flicker, Beaver and Skate. He began creating jewelry in 1990, and has continued to practice the craft off and on ever since. He has developed his own distinct style over the years, and has produced many beautiful pieces as a result. Richard was inspired to begin making jewelry by his grandmother, who was a gifted jeweler in her own right, and who taught her grandson the craft.