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TITLE
John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (25 of 39)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_SILVERSMITH_25
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
John Fraser
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2250
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 when centrifugal casting was introduced into the jewellery trade. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a gold paperknife.

'The only disadvantage to it, really, was that your files had to become more sophisticated; you had to have much more expensive equipment to dress them up. You had very deep fire stain, in the beginning. They've gradually managed to overcome that but I know that at the beginning the fire stain was very deep so you had to file like blazes to get down into the actual metal, you know, and it was quite deep, reddish pink. You could see it, you know? And you had to use heavier and sometimes longer periods of time polishing, to get this fire skin off. But you got a lovely firm casting, much denser than sand casting. Better detail. And you could come down in weight which was the interesting thing, you could scale it down. So that, in actual fact, it came in at a very good time; it came in at a time when there was actually a slow increase in the price of metal, but it was pointing ahead to further increases, and it's up it was gonna go, it wasn't back or it wasn't going to stay steady. A lot of people knew this, so the new method, in fact, was a godsend to a lot of small people, and big people too'

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John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (25 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 when centrifugal casting was introduced into the jewellery trade. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a gold paperknife.<br /> <br /> 'The only disadvantage to it, really, was that your files had to become more sophisticated; you had to have much more expensive equipment to dress them up. You had very deep fire stain, in the beginning. They've gradually managed to overcome that but I know that at the beginning the fire stain was very deep so you had to file like blazes to get down into the actual metal, you know, and it was quite deep, reddish pink. You could see it, you know? And you had to use heavier and sometimes longer periods of time polishing, to get this fire skin off. But you got a lovely firm casting, much denser than sand casting. Better detail. And you could come down in weight which was the interesting thing, you could scale it down. So that, in actual fact, it came in at a very good time; it came in at a time when there was actually a slow increase in the price of metal, but it was pointing ahead to further increases, and it's up it was gonna go, it wasn't back or it wasn't going to stay steady. A lot of people knew this, so the new method, in fact, was a godsend to a lot of small people, and big people too'