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TITLE
John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (38 of 39)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_SILVERSMITH_38
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
John Fraser
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2268
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 reflects on how the changes in silversmithing techniques were often slow to develop. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Cairngorm brooch.

'If you look at modern methods in our trade today, you get bright diamond cutting, you get matt finishes, bark finishes - these are all modern methods that weren't in it in our day. It's not that they couldn't be done back in the thirties or before that time - there were probably people at that time that were experimenting, you know - and people like my boss and a lot of the other people in established jewellers' businesses at that time would just - it would be taboo, they wouldn't allow it into the workshop, they wouldn't allow it into the window to be sold. It was below their principle to do that. So anybody that was designing in that field, towards that type of work, would have been shunned, just like a leper, because there was a way of doing a thing, and it had never changed, and it had to stay that way. But then, you see, as these people died off, the ones that were left with any knowledge at all, they found they had to change, you know, because circumstances were changing round about them. So they had to develop new techniques'

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John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (38 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 reflects on how the changes in silversmithing techniques were often slow to develop. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Cairngorm brooch.<br /> <br /> 'If you look at modern methods in our trade today, you get bright diamond cutting, you get matt finishes, bark finishes - these are all modern methods that weren't in it in our day. It's not that they couldn't be done back in the thirties or before that time - there were probably people at that time that were experimenting, you know - and people like my boss and a lot of the other people in established jewellers' businesses at that time would just - it would be taboo, they wouldn't allow it into the workshop, they wouldn't allow it into the window to be sold. It was below their principle to do that. So anybody that was designing in that field, towards that type of work, would have been shunned, just like a leper, because there was a way of doing a thing, and it had never changed, and it had to stay that way. But then, you see, as these people died off, the ones that were left with any knowledge at all, they found they had to change, you know, because circumstances were changing round about them. So they had to develop new techniques'