Hi! I am An Mercado-Alcantara, a clay artisan, writer, and innkeeper. I fell in love with clay when my son Diego was five years old. Together, we spent a lot of time creating imaginary worlds with clay dough. Pretty soon, he outgrew our clay time but I got hooked. I discovered that clay is a wonderful way to be ever at play in life. Being crazy-busy in the corporate world at that time, I found that childlike play helped ease stress and brought me back to seeing life on an intimate scale.
I also discovered that creating clay figures is a powerful way to tell stories. I am a believer in the power of storytelling. I think we don’t do enough of it. Stories connect us to each other and to those that came before us. Stories heal wounds, celebrate silly moments, and hold up our triumphs. Stories can remind us of who we are.
Inspired by Mexican and Peruvian folk art, I now create clay storytellers that tap into our own Filipino experiences. Together with a small circle of women folk whom I have trained, we make characters and vignettes that trigger Pinoy storytelling. It’s my hope that our clay pieces nudge you into sharing your story.
Visit us at Casa San Pablo, the country inn in San Pablo City, Laguna, where my husband Boots and I are innkeepers. You may even try your hand at clay play through pre-arranged workshops. I hold clay storytelling sessions as team building and self-discovery activities.
Come, own your story today.