The Project

For over a century Richard Mahr and his company, Marolin, have manufactured Christmas and Easter figurines, made in paper-maché. Artist, inventor, businessman Richard and his family would go on to steer Marolin through two World Wars, the Great Depression, a fire and eventual takeover by the communist state, only to have their hopes dashed again after reunification in 1990, upon which only a miracle could save them…

Rick discovered this story while traveling abroad, searching for old world toy makers in the German province of Thuringia. Purely by accident or fate, he stumbled upon a company called Marolin in the village of Steinach, a company with a 118-year history of making Christmas figurines from a secret paper-maché formula developed by its founder Richard Mahr. This isn’t your Pre-school style paper-maché. Richard named his formula and company, Marolin. The Marolin formula is known as the porcelain of paper-maché. Durable and smooth to the touch, made as a liquid for pouring, or as a mass dough for pressing, it is a sustainable green product by today’s standards. Through interviews, letters, diaries, old photographs, music and live footage, we have pieced together 118 years of the life and times of Richard Mahr, his family and company called Marolin.

An inspiring story of one family trying to keep a Christmas tradition and business alive while the world around them spiraled out of control. The story is weaved together over time and told through the eyes of his children and great grandchildren.