Branson was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. He attended two of the country’s finest glass schools, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine and the Pilchuck School of Glass in Washington State. He has worked as a glass artist since 1981 and prior to forming his own studio in 1987 he worked as an assistant to glass artist Josh Simpson.
His designs in hand-blown glass are distinguished by elegant, fluid shapes, and jewel-like colors. Branson creates one-of-a-kind vessels. Many of his pieces are done in a single transparent color which is then cased over with clear crystal for added depth and brilliance. By manipulating the glass while it is hot, he is able to create graceful, organic shapes that mirror natural forms.
The artist has received the North American Glass Honor on four different occasions. In 1992 his work was one of 100 selected from thousands of international entries for inclusion in the prestigious New Glass Review XIII, published by the Corning Museum of Glass. Some of Branson’s permanent collections reside at Holyrood Palace in Scotland, Northwest Airlines in Detroit, the Westin Hotel lobby in Virginia, and with singer/songwriter Snoop Dogg.