Dear St. Marks Parish,
The restoration of your nativity scene has been a year long labour of love by myself and my friend, the artist, Sheila Gordon.
I did the repairs to the pieces, including replacing the cow's horn and Joseph's foot as well as a few noses along the way. Sheila lovingly painted and decorated each piece and then I varnished them and put the covering on the bottom...it truly was a joint effort and a project not a chore.
I did uncover a bit of history about the nativity set. I am not sure how long it has lived at St. Mark's but here is a glimpse of the company that made it originally.
The pieces are made from a resin mold -- much like fiberglass without the glass. It's a technique rarely used anymore as most similar pieces are made of plastic. The company which made the pieces did so more than 50 years ago in upstate New York .....ALFCO-NY ...stands for Artist Latex Foam Company of New York. They worked primarily on Nativity scenes, cigar store Indians and decorative and mounted horse heads. The company is now out of business. They were located in New Rochelle, New York, and were responsible for crafting the resin-based home/restaurant decor ship figurehead reproductions in the 1960's and 1970's.
Another church in Spencer City had a nativity set like ours and they redid it as well...it took seven people combined working more than 340 hours of labor on the project Sheila and I feel blessed that our set did not take as much restoration as theirs appeared to need!
We hope you will enjoy and treasure this nativity set for many more years to come.