February 2012 – Etowah Stitches

Posted on Feb 11, 2012

February 2012 – Etowah Stitches
On Display from February 7 – March 3, 2012   |   Public Reception on February 23 from 6-7pm

John “Brownie” Brock (8/11/1925 – 10/26/2006) was an Etowah-ian skilled and patient with needlework. It is said that “his backs are as good as his fronts”, but don’t take it from me. Visit the Etowah Arts Commission Gallery to see his precise work for yourself!

One of the most interesting parts of the display is a set of afghans, recalling the state flower of places the Brocks particularly enjoyed visiting during their many travels. Mr. Brock was always specific in his stitching – knotting each color on the reverse to create a picture on both sides. To show this, these pieces are arranged as a mirror of one another – one with the front and one with the reverse facing outward. You have to look hard to find which is which!

Can you tell which is front and back?

Often we think of needlecraft as a solitary art, but that was far from the case in the Brock household. Daughter Joellen Dunkle recalls her father and mother sitting every night, working their separate crafts next to each other.Some of Mrs. Brock’s holiday quilted works are on display as well, alongside Mr.Brock’s Christmas decorations, including stitched stockings and a tree skirt.

Much of Mr. Brock’s other work reflects a simpler time, of quaint farmhouses and rolling fields, inspired by his childhood growing up on a farm. In fact,two of the largest and most complex pieces on display reflect this theme. He also did many requested designs for his children or to give away about the community. On display is one of several Boy Scout patterns he replicated for local troop members.

John “Brownie” Brock was a decorated veteran of World War II,honorably discharged after he was wounded in combat. He received a purple heart and was one of few who fought in all five operations. In the 1950′s he and his wife Virginia decided to move from Englewood to Etowah,where he worked in the Gem Drugstore (now the Etowah Arts Commission) until a position with the Postal Service opened. Much of Etowah came to know him well during his many years at the Post Office, where he served until retirement. The Brocks traveled often and enjoyed spending time with their children and grandchildren. Tragically a biking traffic accident fatally injured Mr. Brock soon after his80th birthday in 2006.