Meet the Vendor: Circuit Breaker Labs
Who are you and what do you do?
I am a science nerd turned artist who transforms broken electronics into wearable art. Circuit boards are intriguing to me since they resemble cities and subway maps. Sadly, e-waste cripples the environment with more than 50 million tons being produced each year. My hope is that I can show people the problem with e-waste while producing cool jewelry and accessories.
What is your favorite new product of 2016?
I have been playing around with removing the solder masking on circuit boards, which is the top, colored layer. In doing so, I reveal the gorgeous copper traces below. I’ll have a small line of these new pieces including necklaces and earrings.
How far will you be traveling to come to UCU?
I live in Rochester, NY, which is about 2,200 miles from Seattle as the crow flies. I’ve never been to the northwest, and I’m super stoked that I’ll get to visit Seattle and see what the area is all about!
How did you get started in your business?
I’ve been creating with some form since I could use my hands. When I was about 10 or so, my aunt gave me a box of tiny seed beads and I started making wire and beadwoven jewelry. I scoured magazines and books to learn techniques and was constantly dragging my mom to craft and bead stores. I started Beadwork by Amanda when I was 14 because I had made too much jewelry for anyone in my family to ever wear. In college I came across a really awesome book about making cast resin jewelry, so I bought a bunch of supplies to work with resin and jumped right in. Around the same time, my brother thought he could fix the family computer, and with piles of electronic components strewn about, I realized that circuit boards were actually pretty cool. The computer was beyond fixing, so I cast a few circuit board pieces in resin and brought them to a craft show. I was shocked by how interested people were with what I had created. I spent years refining my process, and slowly, Circuit Breaker Labs emerged.
Is this a full-time job for you?
I’ve been full time for just a couple of months. I actually just got my PhD in chemistry (say what!) and I realized a few months ago that I would just be okay with spending the next thirty years working a 9-5 in a windowless laboratory. So I decided to finish my degree, but immediately switch gears and turn my business up to full throttle.