Maker Spotlight: Amanda Cole

Craft & Design Technology Yarncraft
Maker Spotlight: Amanda Cole

Name: Amanda Cole
Hometown: Saylorsburg, PA
Day Job: electrical engineering student Penn State, lab assistant in the physics department
Makerspace: back home at my desk


Electronics : Yarncraft : Coding

What type of maker would you classify yourself as?

One of the reasons why I love making is that I enjoy learning new skills. I’m kind of an all-over-the-place, or perhaps more accurately, a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none kind of maker. I make things that involve everything from circuits and coding to 3D printing, yarn, and shop tools.

How’d you get started making?

I got started with making while I was in high school (only a little while ago!). I took some pretty sweet classes on coding and circuits and I was hooked by what you could do with gizmos like the Raspberry Pi. We’d make simple arcade games and it was the most satisfying feeling in the world when they finally worked after hours of amateur tinkering. I connected with people who knew a thing or two about making, and since then I’ve learned the skills as I’ve gone.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve made?

Probably my homemade cage light. After seeing seeing some mad-scientist looking cage lights (the kind of lights you might see in a barn) in one of my dad’s hunter/farming/tool catalogs, I wanted to make my own. It was a project that took a lot of steps from start to finish, and I designed my first PCB ever for it.


What’s something you’d like to make next?

I’d like to build a small, smart robot from scratch. It’s been on my list for a long time, and I’ve had several attempts that mechanically didn’t work and I couldn’t sufficiently power. But I’ll get there someday.

Any advice for people reading this?

Write down all of your project ideas, even if they sound crazy or are just plain mad. Most of the stuff I’ve done, like the cagelight, has been really spur of the moment. No idea can be too crazy. Persevere through the technical issues and the creative challenges, and who knows—you might just make something great. Also: find other people who make who you can learn from and collaborate with. This cannot be stressed enough.

Who else should we profile?

Michael Graham of Engineer Dog

Josh Ajima of Design Make Teach

Liam of Liam’s Luck Wood Craft

Killer Robotics

You can find Amanda online at her blog.

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A typical day for Lisa includes: getting up to see the sunrise, bicycling, interning at Make:, reading and writing short stories, and listening to audiobooks and podcasts for hours while working on projects or chores.

View more articles by Lisa Martin


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