Guest Editor’s Profile – Mary Thorp

Mary Thorp

Rock Cave, WV / USA

In terms of your things, what does your space (studio/office/living area) look like? please describe.
My life lives inside my promise for the world: By 2034, I promise a world where all people are fulfilled, fulfilling their promises for the world, living lives designed from their heart. What is YOUR promise? Send it to me.

I love my spaces.  I have an office in our house & a studio in the Gate House.  The Bertoia Archive, library, writing space, fabric room, sewing machines, cutting table & the  iPromiseBank live together.  The  wood stove keeps it all warm.  Some spaces are organized, some disorganized, books & fabric are shelved & bolts are stacked.

There’s always more to do. . . .

Where do you normally get your things?
I find things in fabric stores, on the sidewalk, in my research, in museums, libraries, homes, bookstores.  I’m always looking.

One of my favorite things is a vest I found on 22nd Street in Philadelphia.  I was driving, saw a black pile of something.  Drove next to it, opened my car door, picked it up with pinched thumb & finger, carried it the same way into the laundry room at my apartment building, washed & dried it.  It was a NorthFace down vest.  The zipper was broken.  After considering replacing the zipper & realizing I don’t like zippers in jackets/vests.  I cut it out, used the zipper tape to sew on a trim, found frogs for the closure, covered the “NorthFace” on both the front & back with black appliques, and voi-la, I have a vest I’ve worn since 1999 and have gotten hundreds of compliments on it.

One of my favorite pairs of gloves came from the floor of a bead store in Philadelphia.  (Before moving to Rock Cave, WV, I lived in Philadelphia 30 yrs.)  I’d been shopping for gloves for a couple months.  Either they weren’t big enough, long enough, or were way too expensive.  Finally I said, “God, I need some assistance here.  I am looking for a pair of black lined leather gloves that fit perfectly.  Please bring them to me.”  Next thing I knew, here was a pair on the floor exactly like what I had requested.  I turned them in to the store owner & he said, “They must be for you.”

I’m not a shopper, except for fabric, so this works for me.

What is your prize possession/”thing”/collectible/tool?
My car is my prize possession.  It lets me move, explore, travel, carry all my gear, sleep, journey.


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