When you admire one of Jim Shores great nativities, you may be surprised to learn that Jim Shore studied engineering in college , not art. He grew up in rural South Carolina and I guess he realized that he needed a technical degree to make enough money to support his family. He initially did that and worked on his art in his spare time.
He did come from some artistic roots, though. His mother was a very prolific quilter and he learned to appreciate the time and effort it took to make those designs. You can easily see the quilting influence in his designs today. I grew up in a rural area of Virgina and I remember my own grandmother having "quilting parties". She would invite a few ladies from the area to come over and they would sit around a huge table frame and had the quilt stretched over it. They would all be working on a different section at the same time. I loved those quilts and apparently so did Jim Shore.
As he honed his skills as an artist, it became increasingly apparent that he needed to devote his efforts to his passion. He founded a company called Designs America and quickly grew it to 350 employees. This did not go over too well though, because he had to devote so much time to running the company, he could not enjoy his art. Jim began to search for a partner that could do the marketing side for him. This is when he found Enesco. He joined with them and has been ever since.
Jim's designs are very much like the quilts he watched his mother make back in South Carolina. His designs are both interesting and diverse. Within a Nativity Set you will find both those elements. It is easy to find a small piece of a quilt design on many of his sculptures.
I hope you enjoy Jim Shore designs as much as I do. We have them throughout our home and each one brings a smile to my face when I get close and inspect the work of this great artist.