The term ‘Roller Derby’ was first coined in 1922 to describe roller skating races held on flat tracks in the US. Fast forward almost 90 years and 'Roller Derby' is now a fast moving, dynamic contact sport enjoyed by women as far afield as Australia, Canada and Northern Europe.
One passionate enthusiast of the sport is jeweller Lauren Grace, who skated with the London Rollergirls for a two year stint and is still a devotee of the sport. It was this passion that gave Lauren the idea to design a rollerskate silver charm.
“Roller derby inspired me to make my little silver skate charm, as I couldn't find one that looked like a roller derby skate anywhere! Most girls wear Riedell 265 skates, so I based the design on my own pair, but I also really wanted to give it little wings, make it stylised and cartoonish, rather than a perfect copy.”
I contacted a modelmaker who specialises in sculpting tiny things - James Freckingham of Robotic Industries (a terribly patient man), who deciphered my scribbly pictures and paragraphs of wittering about wings and delivered me an adorable little replica of my skate.
I decided to shorten the wings a little, so it looked like this:
Then off to the caster! Who may have wanted to kill me... Apparently it was terribly difficult to cast, many moulds were made, but finally my little silver castings arrived. Tada!
And, after cleanup, soldering, polishing and attaching wheels, my little silver skate finally looked like so:
Which was exactly what I wanted! A small silver roller derby skate charm, which looked just like my 265s. Except my skates sadly don’t have wings...
It turned out much heavier than I had thought – the charm weighs around 15 grams, which is a big old chunk of silver!
I also did a couple of special ones with sparkly gemstone attachments to represent league and team colours.