Seller Spotlight: The Sage’s Cupboard

Disclaimer: Seller Spotlights are hand selected by the ArtFire Staff and contacted personally. We ask sellers to tell us a bit more about themselves and their business through their own eyes. sages cupboard banner

Inspired by ancient and modern styles, made with natural and sustainable materials.

The Sage’s Cupboard is a one of a kind jewelry studio, based in beautiful Nanaimo, British Columbia.  I am very fortunate to live in an area that embraces both the arts and green living – my jewelry designs are inspired by ancient and modern styles, made with natural and sustainable materials.
Mortira Natasha vanPelt of The Sage's Cupboard

Mortira Natasha vanPelt of The Sage’s Cupboard

There is something incredibly satisfying about turning tiny pieces of glass into wearable works of art.

Beads have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  My mother taught me to craft with seed beads when I was old enough to hold a needle, and I’ve been in love with them ever since.  I taught myself off-loom bead weaving techniques like peyote and herringbone weave in 2006 after purchasing my first beading magazine.  Since then, I’ve never looked back.  There’s something incredibly satisfying about turning tiny pieces of glass into wearable works of art.
Tefnut Necklace @ The Sage's Cupboard

Tefnut Necklace @ The Sage’s Cupboard

I was busily experimenting with new beading techniques and meeting other beaders online through forums when I learned about a new selling platform that was like eBay, but specifically for crafters.  I immediately started planning a shop of my own.  After about a year of making pieces to start my inventory, and gathering up all of the elements I would need like photography tools and business cards, I was ready to give it a try. There have been a lot of ups and downs, and I was lucky enough to be around to try ArtFire when it was first starting out.  It’s been a great journey so far.

I never make the same design twice.

Every piece of jewelry at The Sage’s Cupboard is one of a kind – I never make the exact same design twice.  I also use a lot of clasp-free designs, and make my own beaded clasps to avoid metals.  When I was first getting ready to make jewelry for sale, I was faced with the challenge of sourcing findings that were ethical and environmentally friendly.  I decided early on to simply avoid metals, as well as gemstones, hard plastics, and some animal products.  Instead, I keep an eye out for high quality glass, handmade and vintage beads, and unique natural elements from sustainable sources.  I am a huge fan of old trade beads, tagua nuts, and freshwater pearls.
Sustainable and Ethical Beads @ The Sage's Cupboard

Sustainable and Ethical Beads @ The Sage’s Cupboard

Most of my designs are inspired by Ancient Egypt, although I love anything with an African or Mediterranean flair.  Bold colors, striped patterns, and natural textures are my favorite design elements.  Although it is sometimes difficult to turn Egyptian inspirations into beadwork without using any metals like gold, I always love the challenge of capturing the ancient aesthetic with ordinary seed beads.
Jewelry Making Tools @ The Sage's Cupboard Studio

Jewelry Making Tools @ The Sage’s Cupboard

Throughout 2013 I created a series of necklaces inspired by the Egyptian gods, and cultivated some signature styles.  I’m looking forward to experimenting with these designs, incorporating more of my favorite beads, and seeing where these inspirations take me.  My current favorite are broad collars, lariats, cuff bracelets, and fringe necklaces.  These are the designs that really represent The Sage’s Cupboard right now.
Cobalt Lime Cuff Bracelet @ The Sage's Cupboard

Cobalt Lime Cuff Bracelet @ The Sage’s Cupboard

During the day I work with my other passion – books.

Jewelry design is a part time job at the moment, and during they day I work with my other passion – books.  I work in a fantastic little bookstore where I get to introduce people to amazing stories every day.  The only thing better than sending a piece of jewelry off to its new owner is learning that a book I recommended was an instant favorite.
Mortira's two passions, books and Egyptian jewelry making

Mortira’s two passions, books and Egyptian jewelry making

All of the ArtFire tools make it easy to manage the studio, freeing up time to make new pieces.

I love selling on ArtFire because I can work at my own pace.  Many of my designs take weeks to make, and I never feel like I’m under pressure to produce a lot of fast and easy pieces for my shop.  Instead, I can focus on designs that I enjoy, and that are appealing to jewelry lovers.  All of the ArtFire tools make it easy for me to manage the studio, freeing up time to make new pieces and take care of my fabulous customers.
Nut the Sky Collar. Cobalt and Gold Netted Beadwork Necklace

Nut the Sky Collar. Cobalt and Gold Netted Beadwork Necklace

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