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TITLE
John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (1 of 39)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_SILVERSMITH_01
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
John Fraser
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2216
KEYWORDS
jewellery
jewelry
craftsman
craftsmen
metalwork
silversmiths
audio

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John Fraser, an Inverness silversmith, served his apprenticeship in the 1930s with Medlock and Craik, watchmakers and jewellers at 6 Bridge Street, Inverness. The firm later had premises in Exchange Place, and Queensgate.

In this audio extract from the 1970s, Mr Fraser recalls how he secured his apprenticeship. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Clan Hannah badge with the motto, 'Per Laborem Ad Alta'

'Well, I was going into the navy, and I told my mother and she got very upset about it - my mother's side were all fishing people - and I said, 'Och well, I think I'll have a shot at it' and I put my papers and that in. And this job appeared in the 'Courier', for an apprenticeship, to serve an apprenticeship at Medlock and Craik the jewellers, on Bridge Street, and my mother said, 'I'll tell you what' (and it was really a ploy on her, you know, from her point of view), 'I'll make a deal with you. You apply for this job and if you don't get it you can go into the navy'. And that was the end of the navy.

It was a peculiar thing. There was boys from the academy - I was in the, in the high school - there was people from, I think one from Dingwall Academy, and there was somebody from out of town - I think it was Elgin - and they were all better artists than me. Now, what we had to do, we'd to do a rampant lion, just a crest, you know, and he showed it to us in the book, and that, and he gave us the book, and he said, 'Just copy it out,' and I was the last one to do the sketch. And I remember I went in at three o'clock, in the afternoon, and I was still working on it at half-past seven at night. And he was pacing the floor up and down at the front shop and I'd forgotten all about the time.

I didn't use the rubber I had, I put the sketch right in the centre of the page. I spent, as I say, a lot of time on it, and it wasn't a good sketch, but the thing that impressed him was the patience I had. And he just came in, he says, 'Oh' he says, 'I don't know about you but' he says, 'I've got a home to go to'. And I says, 'Oh, I'm terribly sorry Mr Craik' and he said 'Oh' he says, 'You've got patience boy, you've got patience'. That was all he said and then a few days later we'd a letter just to say to start on Monday'

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John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (1 of 39)

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1970s

jewellery; jewelry; craftsman; craftsmen; metalwork; silversmiths; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: John Fraser, Silversmith

John Fraser, an Inverness silversmith, served his apprenticeship in the 1930s with Medlock and Craik, watchmakers and jewellers at 6 Bridge Street, Inverness. The firm later had premises in Exchange Place, and Queensgate. <br /> <br /> In this audio extract from the 1970s, Mr Fraser recalls how he secured his apprenticeship. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Clan Hannah badge with the motto, 'Per Laborem Ad Alta'<br /> <br /> 'Well, I was going into the navy, and I told my mother and she got very upset about it - my mother's side were all fishing people - and I said, 'Och well, I think I'll have a shot at it' and I put my papers and that in. And this job appeared in the 'Courier', for an apprenticeship, to serve an apprenticeship at Medlock and Craik the jewellers, on Bridge Street, and my mother said, 'I'll tell you what' (and it was really a ploy on her, you know, from her point of view), 'I'll make a deal with you. You apply for this job and if you don't get it you can go into the navy'. And that was the end of the navy. <br /> <br /> It was a peculiar thing. There was boys from the academy - I was in the, in the high school - there was people from, I think one from Dingwall Academy, and there was somebody from out of town - I think it was Elgin - and they were all better artists than me. Now, what we had to do, we'd to do a rampant lion, just a crest, you know, and he showed it to us in the book, and that, and he gave us the book, and he said, 'Just copy it out,' and I was the last one to do the sketch. And I remember I went in at three o'clock, in the afternoon, and I was still working on it at half-past seven at night. And he was pacing the floor up and down at the front shop and I'd forgotten all about the time.<br /> <br /> I didn't use the rubber I had, I put the sketch right in the centre of the page. I spent, as I say, a lot of time on it, and it wasn't a good sketch, but the thing that impressed him was the patience I had. And he just came in, he says, 'Oh' he says, 'I don't know about you but' he says, 'I've got a home to go to'. And I says, 'Oh, I'm terribly sorry Mr Craik' and he said 'Oh' he says, 'You've got patience boy, you've got patience'. That was all he said and then a few days later we'd a letter just to say to start on Monday'