Wendy Fernstrum, “Phases”

Manipulated font, converted to photopolymer plates and printed letterpress in an edition of 25, on white BFK Rives. Drumleaf binding. This image shows the book closed and open to the middle spread – the full moon.


This image shows the first page in the book, where the font is a faint outline, representing the first phase of the moon.


In this image you can see the font partially filled with white – half moon. The text is shifting toward the center of the page.


In this image – at the quarter phase of the moon – you can see that the text block has shifted toward the left side of the page, and the white area within the font is waning.


This image shows the page that immediately follows the page shown in image 4.


Artist: Wendy Fernstrum (Marine on St. Croix, MN)

Title: Phases (2012)

Medium/technique(s): Letterpress

Edition size: 25

Number of pages: 30

Dimensions, open: 5″ x 10″ x 1″

Dimensions, closed: 5″ x 5″ x 2″


Artist Statement:

Phases is an artist book that depicts the 29 phases of the moon typographically. It’s also about the phases we experience within ourselves and in relationship with others, which may or may not be influenced by lunar phases. The text, all from the Bible (a contemporary translation so the text is not immediately recognizable as Biblical) refers to the lightness and darkness within and outside of us.

The text begins as a thin outlined font on the right side of the page. The font gradually fills in, waxing until the letters are completely filled with white, then gradually waning back to thinly outlined, with the text at the far left of the page.

I printed the 30 pages of “Phases” at Minnesota Center for Book Arts on a Vandercook Universal letterpress. Each page has 6 layers of ink: 2 brown, 2 black, and 2 blue. The rich dark blue that resulted from this process shimmers in the light.