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At Artisanry Co., we pride ourselves on providing a marketplace and community for UK-based makers. But while each product is made in the UK, the inspiration behind the final piece is often global.

During the month of October, we’ll be focusing on the different styles of visual art that are available at our online shop. This week, we’re shining the light on art that has got indigenous roots and offers an additional cultural flair.

We spoke with three of the makers in our community who produce stunning indigenous art. Jocasta Shakespeare creates gyotaku art, Sheila Roper encapsulates simple life with her American folk art and Rosario Mastrocinque produces gorgeous batik art.

Jocasta Shakespeare – Gyotaku Art

Jocasta Shakespeare has mastered the fine art of fish prints. The ancient Japanese art of printing fish first began in the 18th century using ink and rice paper. Jocasta has evolved the practice to her own style. Instead of using ink and rice paper, Jocasta works with gesso oils, glazes and pigment on canvas.

The talented maker prioritizes sustainability in her work by sharing the message of ocean conservation. Each one of her artworks highlights the beauty of marine life and their importance in the world.

Speaking about Artisanry Co. and the value of having an online store, Jocasta says, “An online shop allows visual art to be affordable (without 50 per cent gallery fees) and to pull together a wide range of practises.”

You can browse and shop Jocasta’s gyotaku art at our online shop.

gyotaku art

Sheila Roper – American Folk Art

Sheila  Roper has been painting in a naïve/folk art style for several years, since first discovering it on a family holiday to Vermont and further trips to Boston and Cape Cod. She was really inspired by the New England scenery, the neat little clapboard houses, the beautiful villages that almost seem as if they belong to another era. Back to a more gentle time, with a peep into the rural life of times gone by.

The countryside with family homes and farmsteads, patchwork quilts and pumpkins, children playing and farmers working. Or colourful little towns on the coast with their sandy beaches, ice-cream parlours and sailboats in the bay. Sheila loves painting winter scenes and puts together scenes on canvas filled with snow-covered farms and houses, children tobogganing, families wrapped up against the cold choosing their Christmas tree.

Sheila says, “ I fill each painting with as many tiny details as I can, I think this adds so much interest to the scenes, and many people have told me how much they enjoy seeing all these little details and they spot something different each time they look at the painting.”

Sheila loves to add as many tiny details as she can and has had several commissions that include family members and even pets. She believes that these are the details that bring her paintings to life and really give them a folk-art feel.

Sheila incorporates sustainability in her art by sending all her prints and cards in reinforced card envelopes. She tries to use recyclable materials in all her gift wrapping and postal packaging. All items are sent from her local Post Office which helps support small businesses in the town.

She says, “I think that having an online shop in a visual art space is an invaluable way of sharing my artwork with a large audience. I know that I personally love to browse through other artists’ portfolios in the comfort of my own home and having the time to appreciate the wide range of styles from a superb variety of art and craftspeople. It’s wonderful to be able to access a large amount of art with the opportunity to purchase items in a secure environment and knowing that I’m dealing with a friendly and supportive community.”

Shop Sheila’s detailed American folk art at our online shop.

Rosario Mastrocinque – Batik Art

Batik art is a traditional Indonesian art style that uses wax resistant dye on fabric to create detailed designs on a choice of applications. Rosario Mastroncinque, Artisanry Co.’s very own batik artists, uses fabric.

A decade ago, Rosario discovered batik art during a trip around the world. After learning the art of using wax, he was hooked. To create his work, Rosario maps an image with a pencil, draws over the image with hot wax and then dyes the fabric before scraping the wax off.

A true batik artist at heart, Rosario shares, “It is not something that I do now and then, in fact, I do it all the time. It’s my flow, my life, myself. I have my studio here in Edinburgh so I dedicate a big part of myself to this.”

Browse and buy Rosario’s batik art at our online shop.

Feeling inspired?

These talented makers have been inspired by indigenous art styles and made them into their own. If you’re looking for a new piece of visual art with a cultural touch, then you can browse our indigenous art collection at our online shop.

If you’re a maker who has your own unique, Indigenous-inspired style and would like to be featured on our platforms, then feel free to contact us. You can find out more about joining our community online.