But Mary was the biggest challenge of all the figures to create. At the time Mom was working on these figures, there was little available for heads and hands to create these pieces. The wisemen, shepherds and even Joseph's heads and hands came in sets of three, and if you look closely you will notice that they are somewhat repeated in the different characters. I believe this is why Mom chose to give the shepherds facial hair - so they would look different from other figures, even though the heads were the same as the wisemen.
Mary was another story. Mom searched and could find no suitable doll heads for her Mary. I was still living at home when she made these, and I had a sizable doll collection in my bedroom which was in a floor to ceiling glassed- in shelving unit. I came home one day from nursing school to find my Mother sitting on my bed staring at my dolls.
When I asked her what she was doing she said she was "looking for Mary". I was in my 20's in nursing school and so not-on-the-same-page as her so I didn't even really listen to her reply. But then the next day I went into the craft room to get something and there lying on her work table was one of my Barbie doll heads lying in among a pile of fabric.
It was my favorite of all time Barbie! The very first Barbie to come out with bendable legs, the one that is now known as the bobbed-cut Barbie. I was upset, and we had some words... which ended with Mom saying with a fair amount of frustration - "Your doll doesn't work as a Mary anyway, she's too made up!"
I think she had almost given up on Mary and then my parents went down to the USA on a trip and when they returned Mom couldn't wait to show me what she had found. It was a Madonna head in a package, and she had found it in some clearance bin in a dime store in Wisconsin... she was elated! There were no hands with the head, but she was also doing eggery at the time, and low and behold she had a set of praying hands from another project - and so became Mary -
I think she is adorable and sweet, and almost the perfect Mary.
Don't you agree?