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TITLE
John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (30 of 39)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_SILVERSMITH_30
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
John Fraser
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2257
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 the value of learning fret work. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Clan Sinclair chieftain's badge with the motto, 'Semper Credens'.

'Most apprentices in my day could have cut all that work out with a fret saw. We were good with the fret saw but then we were trained to use it. And you see, not only that, but you've got to remember also that in those days, a great thing amongst younger members at that time was 'hobbies', and hobbies had - did a lot of patterns. You got books of patterns for fret work, you know? I remember you could go round houses and see clocks made - full grandfather clocks - in the town, all done by hand, all the panels, all done by fret work, by amateurs. You don't see that now. Nobody would think on doing that now. I'd the wood fret saws and I learnt that at home. I made little things, you know, little trinket boxes and things like that and pierced all the sides and the lids and things like that out and the skill came from that. But it was very acceptable when it came into it working in silver and gold because I had the skill to do very fine piercings'

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John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (30 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 the value of learning fret work. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Clan Sinclair chieftain's badge with the motto, 'Semper Credens'.<br /> <br /> 'Most apprentices in my day could have cut all that work out with a fret saw. We were good with the fret saw but then we were trained to use it. And you see, not only that, but you've got to remember also that in those days, a great thing amongst younger members at that time was 'hobbies', and hobbies had - did a lot of patterns. You got books of patterns for fret work, you know? I remember you could go round houses and see clocks made - full grandfather clocks - in the town, all done by hand, all the panels, all done by fret work, by amateurs. You don't see that now. Nobody would think on doing that now. I'd the wood fret saws and I learnt that at home. I made little things, you know, little trinket boxes and things like that and pierced all the sides and the lids and things like that out and the skill came from that. But it was very acceptable when it came into it working in silver and gold because I had the skill to do very fine piercings'