Pi Llena finds rest in creating as well as in walking along nature trails. These are her ultimate recreation from a week’s work. She makes wearable arts using polymer clays and jewelry wires. More importantly, she delights in helping build communities by conducting livelihood and skills trainings as well as holding leadership seminars and workshops.
Let us get to know her better as a craft-artist…
What got you into crafting?
Two things: One, we conducted livelihood skills trainings as part of our efforts to help build communities. This made me realize that we should hon whatever skills our hands can learn and create our own products in order to sustain livelihood in communities. Two, my husband has a lifelong passion for arts. I wanted to complement that passion by learning more types of arts and crafts and growing what we have into a sustainable business in order to inspire those that we train. So, for me, my arts and crafts engagement is a marriage of two beautiful things – passion for handmade and sustainable community development.
Whose works inspire you the most?
Oh, I have group of friends that are far better craft-artists than myself! Their uniqueness and talents inspire me a lot. I salute many Filipino crafters in their efforts to overcome global competitions and stand firm with their conviction to uphold Filipino craftsmanship against the flooding threat of cheap and mass-made items.
What is your greatest accomplishment with regards your craft?
LOL, I am not sure! Maybe the skills trainings that we did. We have a number of people testifying that it had made their lives better as the trainings empowered them to start their businesses. I hope to see all of them selling their works globally. Also, I am really hoping that this global marketplace, TheCraftFountain, will influence the world better into appreciating handcrafts.
What kinds of arts and crafts projects would you like to do or learn?
A lot more! I do only simple stuff for now. One wish that needs fulfilling is to get me into crafting full time so I can just create all day! I like to learn painting, photography, metal crafts, glass arts, gelatin arts, a lot!
What would you like to ultimately accomplish with regards your craft?
A global market for Filipino craft-artists, especially for the communities that we help train. A worldwide acknowledgement of the Filipino artistry. A confident Filipino knowing that he is good and can compete globally.