Sunday, January 10, 2010

Grace Foster

Hi, I'm a Tuesday Weaver and this is my first contribution to the blog. I was inspired to write by a poster I came across while attempting to clean up my sewing/computer/office/storage/craft supply/etc. room which is approximately 11'x11'. The poster is of our dear departed Tuesday Weaver, Grace Foster. It's a beautiful poster created by other departed member of the Appalachian Arts Craft Center, Jack Avant, who was an accomplished photographer.
The poster advertised AACC's 17Th Annual Auction and Dinner 2005. AACC was older than 17 years in 2005, it was started in 1969/70 and it had a different name then, Community Craft Center. Grace was co-founder of the Center with a wild woman by the name of Sara Star. Sara was wild then and still is, in a very good way. In her 80's she lives in a cabin in the woods in Oregon. She had purple hair and multi colored finger nails and is creative, loving, positive and energetic. Sara and Grace launched CCC as an economic project under the auspices of the Anderson County TN Community Action, a program funded by the national War On Poverty. The idea was to help Appalachian crafts people market their products, to teach crafts and to use the strong and enduring Applachian culture of weaving, basket making, pottery and more to better their lives. The motto was something like "For our souls and pocket books".
But, back to Grace. I first encounter Grace as a hiker, a member of the Smokey Mountain Hiking Club. I didn't get to know her then because we were seldom on the same hikes. I think she opted for the hard hikes and I stayed at the 8 mile & under hikes. Grace was my senior by a good number of years, but she was healthy and active until her last year.
When we launched our Internet venture, blogging and preparing to sell on line, I wondered what Grace would think. It's hard to say. I got to know her well but I could never predict what her opinion would be. She was an enigma is some ways. I started weaving with the group in 2000 when is was much a smaller and subdued group. At that time, Ellen Cain headed the weaving department and she had a 30 years tenure as the volunteer head when she died. Grace could be a curmudgeon, but she had a heart of gold. When 2:00pm on Tuesdays rolled around and all the other weavers would leave, sometimes Grace and I would stay to talk. I treasure those memories. (Linda, one of the Tuesday Weavers, remembers meeting Grace when she dropped by one day at the Center. Grace only said, "You have a threading error."....nothing else.)

Now the department is very different. And I am excited and enthused about the changes and growth. There is so much energy and activity, Tuesdays are lively, everyone pitches in and Carol's effectively leads. I think Grace would be right in the mix of things doing her part to make our venture a success while expressing some doubts about wisdom of it all.

Happy Memories,


Maggie said...

Well done, LouAnn and Pat!

Tina said...

I remember 2 things about Grace. She always put on really long warps, and she was not afraid to "Cut it off" If a warp just plain got out of hand.

Remember the fine, fine blue warp that lost its cross? More than once Grace said "cut it off!" as we worked together to straighten it out, and come to find out she was coming down and working on it when we weren't here! It was a beautiful scarf, a weaving dept. masterpiece.
What memories!

Bonnie said...

Great memories, Pat. I remember meeting sombody that was in poor health. Not sure it was Grace. Her daughter brought her by the center for a brief visit. I do think it was her.

LA said...

Grace was into recycling and reusing before it was vogue! I can still see her with her little handwoven basket with magazines inside. She would bring it on Tuesdays to share....she had already read the articles, and she was passing them along to others. She was working on a piece of tapestry the first time I came to visit. I wasn't surprised to find out she had spent time in the Peace Corp. What a woman!!!!