Amanda Preske is the artist that turns circuit boards into green jewelry. Preske spent around 10 years in Rochester by earning a BS in Chemistry from RIT and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester (nanocrystal semiconductor synthesis).
She started her business in Rochester, but currently, she lives near Washington, D.C. Preske uses her knowledge of chemical reactions to make rings, pendants, cufflinks, tie clips, and other items using resin.
As we know that electronic waste is a big problem in many countries. According to UNEP, there are around 50 million metric tons of electronic wastes collected each year but only about 27 percent can be recycled in America alone.
In the end, the waste is buried or sent to other countries to be processed in an unsafe manner. Both methods of handling produce toxins and heavy metals that can pollute the soil and damage the health of the country where the garbage is disposed.
Amanda Preske The Designer Who Cares for Environment
Although the garbage can be sent to a conventional recycling facility, for artists, it has a creative way to overcome this problem. One of them is a jewelry artist named Amanda Preske from Rochester, New York. She took an electronic circuit board from an old computer, a cell phone, a calculator and a monitor and then turned it into a necklace, bracelet, belt head, and other interesting accessories.
“We live in a digital world, so it is only natural for computers, calculators and memory cards that have not been used to be used again rather than discarded,” Amanda said. Thanks to her perseverance and creative talent, circuit boards are made with various colors then reinforced using resins. All jewelry parts made of from recycled silver.
Amanda Preske is the Doctor of Chemistry
Preske is a doctorate holder in chemistry and has an interest in jewelry. In addition to jewelry, she has made crafts in the form of candles and paintings, but making jewelry is one of her most favorite ones.
Amanda began using used circuit boards in 2007 when she saw her older brother while repairing a computer. She was fascinated by the complexity she found on electronic circuit boards. Although the whole circuit board is sometimes too complex to appreciate, on a small scale for jewelry, a small part of the circuit board is like describing a map of underground lines or a city view. In addition, it also looks like an interesting piece of words as if giving a secret message that will be solved.
Used circuit boards are obtained from various sources, usually from art festivals. She also created the Circuit Board Trade-in Program where anyone can send used circuit boards to her and can be exchanged for the jewelry she has made.
These old electronic components are then dismantled, cleaned, cut and placed in silver containers, all of which are done with creative hands. The resin also functions as a lens that magnifies the beauty of the intricate patterns found on the circuit board while also being a cover to protect the jewelry. The resin looks very clear because she has a chemical background that allows her to see even the smallest changes in detail which can change the results of chemical reactions.
It uses a polymerized two-part resin mixture in 24 to 48 hours. In the first 30 minutes after mixing, she must be careful to control temperature and humidity, which affects surface tension.
Bubbles are the biggest problem for clarity problems. Some people use vacuum chambers to ensure epoxy is bubble free, but that doesn’t make economic sense so everything is done manually. Amanda Preske is one of the creative artists who care about environmental sustainability that her creative mind that all of us should follow.