Wendy Fernstrum, “From Right to Left”


This image shows the book front cover. The words are printed backwards to allow the text to be read from right to left. The background was screenprinted, and the text was letterpress printed.


This image shows the second spread in the book. The green text was written with my left (non-dominant) hand, scanned and converted to photopolymer plates and printed letterpress.


The handwritten text on this spread was also written with my left hand, which is getting stronger and beginning to share dominance with the right hand.


I used my left hand to draw the hand image on the left side, and my right hand to draw the hand image on the right side. The text at the top explains that training the non-dominant side of the body creates greater symmetry, which improves balance, coordination, precision, and accuracy.


This image shows the book within the book, sewn into the page before it was bound with the others. The small book contains an excerpt from a book about yoga by yogi B.K.S. Iyengar; the excerpted text explains the importance of balance between the right and left sides of the body.


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

Title: From Right to Left (2012)

Medium/technique(s): Screenprinted and letterpress printed

Edition size: 25

Number of pages: 10

Dimensions, open: 8″ x 16″ x .5″

Dimensions, closed: 8″ x 8″ x 1″


Artist Statement:

From Right to Left is an artist book about the effects of changing one’s dominant hand. Through the personal narrative, I tell the story of why and how I switched from my right to my left as my dominant hand at the age of 50, and the effect it had on me – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I wrote this narrative using both my right and left hands, then scanned the handwriting, made photopolymer plates, and printed it on a Vandercook letterpress.

Other text in the book describes the use of the right and left hands in our culture and explains the effects in the brain of changing dominant hands.

The background and photographic images were screenprinted; line drawings and text was letterpress printed.