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TITLE
John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (12 of 39)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_SILVERSMITH_12
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
John Fraser
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2232
KEYWORDS
jewellery
jewelry
craftsman
craftsmen
metalwork
silversmiths
crests
quaichs
soldering
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 using hand-drawn silver wire of different shapes (round, half round, and square) for various jobs. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Clan Fraser badge with the motto, 'Je Suis Prest' (I Am Ready).

'But you could draw your own wire and you could hold it in small sections like, perhaps, five or six ounces of each shape, and you just put that up on a hook on the wall and you kept it there until you needed it. And you would be using it - For instance you'd be using small half round wire for catches; you'd be using square wire perhaps for sections. For instance, when you made a, what was called a 'full built crest', you would have an outer rim and an inner rim and you'd use square wire for that - solder it onto a flat surface and you'd have a channel, an actual channel on the inside, all the way round, and then you'd solder all your lettering, for your motto, into that channel and by doing that you'd gradually build a thing up in relief.

You could also use heavier square wire for doing a napkin ring. If you did a plain napkin ring you could put an edge on it, or a half round edge - that was where your wire came in, it was an embellishment to anything that you - If you made a quaich you put a wire edge round it, a wire edge round the foot. And you could take your round wire and you could put two strands, or three strands, or four strands, or whatever you wanted, and you could twist it, you could twist it with half round wire and round wire, or square wire and round wire, or various plain wires and you could twist them altogether, you know, and build up a sort of interlaced, heavy wire which could be used, if it was softened up, as a necklet, or a bracelet, and it was what you would call just a sort of ornamental pattern, built up of a series of wires'

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John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (12 of 39)

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1970s

jewellery; jewelry; craftsman; craftsmen; metalwork; silversmiths; crests; quaichs; soldering; 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 using hand-drawn silver wire of different shapes (round, half round, and square) for various jobs. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Clan Fraser badge with the motto, 'Je Suis Prest' (I Am Ready).<br /> <br /> 'But you could draw your own wire and you could hold it in small sections like, perhaps, five or six ounces of each shape, and you just put that up on a hook on the wall and you kept it there until you needed it. And you would be using it - For instance you'd be using small half round wire for catches; you'd be using square wire perhaps for sections. For instance, when you made a, what was called a 'full built crest', you would have an outer rim and an inner rim and you'd use square wire for that - solder it onto a flat surface and you'd have a channel, an actual channel on the inside, all the way round, and then you'd solder all your lettering, for your motto, into that channel and by doing that you'd gradually build a thing up in relief. <br /> <br /> You could also use heavier square wire for doing a napkin ring. If you did a plain napkin ring you could put an edge on it, or a half round edge - that was where your wire came in, it was an embellishment to anything that you - If you made a quaich you put a wire edge round it, a wire edge round the foot. And you could take your round wire and you could put two strands, or three strands, or four strands, or whatever you wanted, and you could twist it, you could twist it with half round wire and round wire, or square wire and round wire, or various plain wires and you could twist them altogether, you know, and build up a sort of interlaced, heavy wire which could be used, if it was softened up, as a necklet, or a bracelet, and it was what you would call just a sort of ornamental pattern, built up of a series of wires'