Fine jewelry and luxury goods may not appear to have much in common with discarded electronic innards, but look deeper and you’ll find that circuit boards are riddled with precious metals such as silver, gold, and copper. Ranging from elegant dangling earrings to sperm-count-shorting skivvies, these seven upcycled circuit-board designs coax the castoffs’ hidden mettle (or is that hidden metal?) back to life. In fact, many of the pieces were part of a group show (“Jewelry_cycle”) in 2008 that sought to raise awareness about the mining industry, e-waste, and overconsumption. And if upcycled metal undies don’t grab people’s attention, we don’t know what will.
When it comes to dedication, no one has anything on junk-metal artist Gabriel Dishaw, who cobbles together metal scraps, bits of wire, and old Intel chips to create detailed replicas of his favorite shoes. The kicker? Each hardwired sneaker is a perfect size 9.5.
BROOCHING THE SUBJECT
Hand-cut into 1-inch circles, then attached to deadstock sterling-plated hairpins, these wayward circuit boards find a new purpose in curbing recalcitrant locks and flyaways.
Dubbed Population Control 2.0, this anatomically correct pair of boxer briefs are manties with a message: They remark on medical studies that link long-term laptop use with male infertility, while wryly suggesting that computers may offer the ultimate birth control…and humanity’s undoing.
PLAY IT BY EAR
Far less provocative are Oye’s delicate drop earrings, cut from circuit-board scraps from her larger installations, then embellished with synthetic alpinite set in silver.
CHAIN CHAIN CHAIN
From Christoph Koch comes two fetching circuit-board necklaces, paired with magnets and sterling silver, that belie their heavy-metal origins. Believing that contemporary jewelry should be framed in a modern way to leave an impression, Koch modeled his urbane baubles on timeless, sophisticated silhouettes.