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New Pathways into Quilt History written by Kimberly Wulfert, www.antiquequiltdating.com

The DeafArt Club  
from DAC Director, Helene E.R. Oppenheimer, teacher and sculptor:

"I am a classroom teacher since 1976, so welcome you sharing my ideas and welcome hearing what others are doing! I am director of DeafArt Club, a non-profit arts org. whose mission is to provide opportunities for Deaf and Hearing to create, teach and exhibit DeafArt, also called De'VIA, which incorporates American Sign Language, Deaf Culture and the Deaf Experience. Our goal is to educate about and facilitate reflection of Deaf history and culture, and promote increased positive relations amongst people of all backgrounds.

I am creating patches out of clay-raising the textures/patterns and appliqués of handshapes (3-d), then I glaze them and have them available for counters and laps so they can be touched. ...here are some of my notes as to why I am starting with 1800 American patterns and adapting them to ASL/Braille: 

1800's America Notes:


Sophia Fowler Gallaudet (1798 - 1877) D
Alice Cogswell, (1805)-1830) D
Laurent Clerc Deaf died on July 18, 1869 D
Thomas Edison (1847-1931), deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other


CT Asylum for the Education & Instruction of Deaf & Dumb Persons, (opened April 15, 1817) in Hartford, which was the first school for the Deaf. In 1864 (one year before his assassination) Abraham Lincoln, signed the charter authorizing the conferring of college degrees (students could study higher education and receive diplomas) by the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind, which became Gallaudet (Sr.) University in 1894.

Civil War (1861-1865)Why 1800's & CIVIL WAR QUILTS?

1. a fruitful time for advocacy & education for the US Deaf & DeafBlind

2. the early American heroes of the Deaf who were Hearing, lived during this time: Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Gallaudet, Mason Cogswell, Amos Kendall, Samuel Morse and Edward Gallaudet-"

Helene can share more information about the quilt blocks she chose to recreate for the students. You can reach her through her website http://pages.sbcglobal.net/aslclay/(be sure to read "Helene's Published Story" about her amazing background as a young immigrant from Germany) or through email at deafartclubmn@yahoo.com. She tells me there will be pictures of the clay quilt blocks online soon. I hope those of you reading about this club and its project will pass the information on to teachers of the same in your school or community.



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© 2005 - 2016 Kimberly Wulfert, PhD. Absolutely no copies, reprints, use of photos or text are permitted for commercial or online use. One personal copy for study purposes is permitted.

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