Oscar Branson books

I’m making a liar out of me. Quoting the Oscar Branson books as
having the formula for blackening silver may have been a mistake.
Kay Vontz caught it by not seeing any reference to heating pieces or
boiling water. Now I have to find where the reference Was. Those
books stuck in my mind all these years as the source but I didn’t
double check before writing. Sorry. May have been an earlier
edition, or an article, but know that I was just starting to work
silver and Bransons books were among the earliest I bought. Boy,
now I have a ton of reference books. Will keep you posted. And there
is still a trove of wonderful in Branson - so do enjoy
and own them !


Dear Patricia, my family had a long and fascinating friendship with
Oscar. He is a legend in the Indian jewelry trade. I met him several
times, I still discover interesting things about Oscar, like the
tools he sold , the mosaics he made in the Santa Domingo style, his
influence on Native American crafts. Oscar was an interesting author
too. I grew up reading and refering to his books. I understood the
simple and elegant silversmithing techniques I was using every day
because of his books and until I started college I didn’t appreciate
them. My families work was used by Oscar as examples in each of his
books as well as picturing the work of the fantastic craftsmen
Daniel Enos and Jimmy Herald who both learned and worked for my
grandfather for most of their careers. Oscar’s books are an
invaluable resource for anyone wanting to learn basic
silversmithing, a real must have for a metalsmith’s library. Thanks
for referencing these books, I was so happy to see Oscar Branson in
the titles of my Orchid mail.

Sam Patania, Tucson

Hi Patricia,

Didn’t catch the full discussion on this, but if you are looking for
a quick and easy way of blackening silver, just use black patina. I
used to work with stained glass, and had a bottle left over, I
needed to blacken some chain, so I just dropped it into the patina,
and it worked a treat!

All the best


I too am an admirer of Oscar! I never met him but have had his two
volume set for many years. I refer to them and show them to my
students regularly. I have made a number of his suggestions and love

Its great to know someone who knew him.

Cheers, Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2