Mary Gaines has had a long-time interest in arts and crafts. However, a 2000 Better Homes & Gardens® article featuring one-of-a-kind Santa Claus art dolls turned hobby to fascination. Expanding her longtime passion and skills for crafts, Mary sought educational workshops and opportunities with some of the most well known art doll artists. These include Jack Johnston, Barbara VanNoy, Diane Keeler, Misha Malpica, Mark Dennis, Ankie Daanen and Marlaine Verhelst.
Combining these talents with her gifted sewing and eye for detail, Mary has created her own line of art dolls, reflecting her unique artistry. Since 2000 various Mary Gaines Art Dolls have won awards, been featured in national magazines, and exhibited in regional and national shows.
Each Mary Gaines Art Doll is a hand-crafted one-of-a-kind (OOAK) sculpture. Heads and hands are hand-sculpted with polymer clay, giving durability and long life. These are attached to a soft sculpted cloth body over a wire armature and more recently, the McKinley body method. The clothing is equally unique, as each article is hand sewn. Genuine furs, leathers, and recycled materials create a true one-of-a-kind theme for each sculpture. Final life-like details are given through hand-painting and exacting attention to clothing trim and the staging of the doll.