I’m a huge fan of Etsy if you haven’t realized. Other than the fact that I find some of my favorite things on Etsy, I love to support independent crafters and designers. Since I’m always featuring Etsy shops it seemed only right for me to start an “Etsy Crush of the Week” category. Every week, I’ll feature a shop I’m crushing on and an interview with the shop owner as well whenever possible. If you have any suggestions for shops or perhaps want your shop featured email me at girlgonegeekblog[at]gmail.com.
I’m starting off ECotW with a BANG! and a BOOM! Sue Smith is the owner of the popular accessories shop on Etsy Comic Salvage where she uses vintage comics to create beautiful jewelry and cuff links. She even does custom pieces! I have been working on getting Sue to create a custom Sandman quote pendent once I track down the issue.
GIVEAWAY! Enter WIN a ring from Comic Salvage here
Interview with Sue Smith of Comic Salvage:
Girl Gone Geek: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Sue: My name is Sue and I live in New Jersey with my husband and two boys. I’m married and have kids, so I never really found the right time or place to start my career as a graphic artist. Etsy allowed me to find an outlet to create and have fun! I also started to get more serious about photography, so I’ve been practicing a lot on my family and friends.
GGG: How long have you been crafting and making jewelry?
S: I have always considered myself a creative person. Even when I was young, my cousins and I would create our own board games out of scrap paper and objects found around the house. Then we would have a blast playing each other’s games! About two years ago, I started seriously thinking about coming up with a job I can do at home. When I had my first son I was determined to find a way to work at home so that I was with him. It wasn’t until recently that I actually started my shop.
GGG: How did Comic Salvage come to be?
S: My husband is an illustrator, we actually met in art class over 15 years ago. He has been collecting comic books for many years. When we would go to flea markets I would notice tons of distressed comic books for under a dollar. I decided to try to recycle them in to jewelry and accessories!
GGG: How long on average does it take you to make a piece?
S: On average the actual production of the piece takes 2-3 days, but the actual finding of the right picture can take up to a month. I don’t just use any picture of a character or saying, it’s got to be the right one. So, I can buy 5 comic books and not have one usuable picture in them! The books that are not used for jewelry are instead used for wrapping of my finished product. I also am going to start making cutouts for customers to buy for scrapbooking or card making. I have been scrapbooking for years, so I thought it would be a perfect way to use as much as these comics as possible.
GGG: Do you have any funny crafting stories?
S: I don’t think my husband would find this as a funny story, but I’ll tell it anyway. The first time I made comic book necklaces, I underestimated the power of the glue I was using. I didn’t have anything under the comic book page that I was gluing my pieces to. Within 10 seconds I realized the 3 pieces were glued right down to my beautiful dining room table! I quickly removed them as I was screaming at the top of my lungs “NONONONO!”. Well, it ate right through the finish and now I have three beautiful perfect circles on my table forever to remind me how far I’ve come! Sorry honey!
GGG: I know you do custom pieces for customers, have you had any favorite or unusual requests?
S: My favorite requests would probably be for weddings like groomsmen sets. One of these sets I’m working on right now, the groomsman is not a big fan of comic book characters. He is an avid republican though, so I have to make the final set with a certain republican’s face! I’ve had some other requests for comic book characters that I haven’t heard of, but that’s when I go right to my husband for help and he usually knows where to find them.
GGG: What else do you do or other hobbies do you have besides make awesome vintage comic book jewelry?
S: Besides photography, I love scrapbooking. There is something really special about creating memories for your kids in books they can look at forever. I not only put pictures of them in it, I include the picture of their favorite toys, drawings, tickets for places we’ve gone….everything and anything.
GGG: Do you have any favorite comic books and comic book characters?
S: To be honest, I really don’t have a favorite. When I was younger I collected and read comic books, the “girly” ones. Popples, Muppet Babies, Rainbow Brite and Betty and Veronica to name a few.
GGG: Do you have any (other) geeky obsessions? If so what?
S: I love anything vintage, so I have fun collecting toys from my childhood! I love the 80’s so anytime I see something at a garage sale that I used to have, it’s hard for me to not buy it! I use the excuse that my kids will play with it.
GGG: If you were on a deserted island what would video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring?
S: Definitely the box set of The Office, love that show! It’s my kind of humor.
GGG: Where can we find you in the web?
S: Right now you can find my shop at etsy.shop/comicsalvage. You can also find my Facebook Fan Page under Comic Salvage. I’m currently working on putting together a blog as well! [Also check out her husbands Etsy etsy.com/shop/chrissmithwest10th, he’s an illustrator and comic book artist.]