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Wendy Fernstrum

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Literary Essences

The ideas of the efficacy of literature and the “pop-a-pill to better health” popular culture are satirized in Literary Essences. The book features a set of 26 glass vials, diagnostic cards, a bound guidebook, index cards and a pair of tweezers.

Artist Wendy Fernstrum said: “Inside the clamshell box are essential tools for using essences of literature. Each vial contains the punched-out holes of pages from a copy of the book identified on the label, along with a scent. The guidebook answers important questions such as, 'What if I take the wrong literary essence or too much of the correct one?' A set of diagnostic cards identifies the 'positive qualities' and 'patterns of imbalance' associated with each book. A pair of tweezers assists in the extraction of an essence from the vials.”

Press: Fernwerks Press
Date: 2005
Number and Edition: 10 of 25
Size: 11.5” x 9.5”


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Promises Kept

This book explores the questions, “What happens to a promise when it's broken? Though it's not kept by the person who made it, is the promise "kept" in some form by the person to whom the promise was made?“

The pages in Promises Kept were letterpress printed by Wendy Fernstrum while she was an artist-in-residence at Minnesota Center for Book Arts. The piece was printed on a Vandercook 219 using handset Goudy type. Each page features a promise, e.g. "I'll take care of everything, I promise." After printing, the artist used a Japanese hole driller to punch holes into the text, thereby removing the promises. The discs of promises are gathered in a pillow-like, sealed packet, housed in an indented space in a clamshell box.

Press: Fernwerks Press
Date: 2005
Number and Edition: 9 of 25
Size: 5.75” x 8”

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