Meet the Maker
Scientist-turned-artist Amanda Preske is on a mission to bridge the gap between science and art while encouraging responsible recycling. With her business, Circuit Breaker Labs, she transforms electronic waste into wearable art and gift products in her Washington, D.C. studio. These boards were discarded and unwanted, but when paired with Amanda’s expertise and critical eye, they become beautiful futuristic worlds captured under resin.
(L) Amanda and (R) one of her workstations
Amanda’s foray into creative business began as a teenager. Enthralled with glass beads and techniques for weaving them together, she had made too much jewelry for her family to wear. She created Beadwork by Amanda at 14 and has been selling her handmade jewelry ever since.
(L) Fine detail work and (R) a photo of the semiconductors synthesized in the real lab
Amanda holds a PhD in chemistry (in semiconductors, no less!) and while she no longer practices in a chemistry lab, her jewelry studio is her current laboratory. Her interest in using circuit boards as a creative medium started as a freshman in chemistry at RIT, where she found constant reminders of the problems caused by obsolete technology. Labs always had broken equipment and dead, dusty computers piled in the corner. Always filled with curiosity and the desire to make things, she disassembled the broken waste and developed a way to morph circuit boards into her polished aesthetic.
Over a decade later, Amanda is still enthralled with the beauty in electronics and has turned everything from computers and cell phones to calculators and Arduinos into jewelry, accessories, gifts, and décor. Unfortunately for the planet, there is no shortage of electronic waste and Amanda sources everything from individuals, universities, and companies looking for alternative ways to handle e-waste.
(L) Sketching new ideas and (R) Amanda exhibiting at a Maker Faire in 2017
Everything from cleaning newly acquired circuit boards, applying resin, and packaging and shipping orders all happens in the lab. Just like a real lab, close-toed shoes, pants, and PPE (personal protective equipment) are required for safety! Amanda is involved every step of the way, and she’s the one you hear from directly when you send an e-mail or reach out over social media. So, if you want to learn more about Amanda and what she does, don’t hesitate to send an email or comment on an Instagram post to connect with Circuit Breaker Labs!