6 questions, a tiny interview with artists, makers and creative folks.
Eric Woods is the owner of the wonderful, Firecracker press in St Louis USA. Established in 2002, it's a world renowned creative letterpress studio that is just shy of 20 years old. No material or technique is off the table there, but Eric is specifically known for his commitment to the tradition of hand-carving woodblocks and the production of epic multi-coloured works, sometimes greeting card size, sometimes the size of a grand wall. Firecracker Press' work is instantly recognisable for the consistent use of innovative colour ways, the integration of highly detailed carving and vintage engravings, the use of traditional lead and wooden type and a range of paper goods and stationery that is full of wonder and respect for the natural world, local pride and a nod to place, cheek, humour and a fair dose of nostalgia.
Back in 2019, our family was lucky to spend some time with Eric and his beautiful family as they travelled around Australia and we've stayed in touch since, sharing stories and dreams, inspirations and projects.
Eric is also the founder of a not-for-profit letterpress studio Central Print in St Louis USA and is a co-host of the inspiring Ladies of Letterpress Conference which runs annually in the States and also recently online.
If there is one thing I believe in.....it's the power of an idea. As life moves along I've come to rely on my thoughts as a way to guide decision making. When I was young I thought of it as "following my gut" which always came with some side of irresponsibility; like an idea wasn't fully considered. Was I having a purely emotional reaction to a situation? I'm finding out that being deeply in-tune with those "gut feelings" (or ideas) is really the only way to go!
Each day I complete this one ritual, action or routine.....
Each day I build my day toward finding my flow. I've found that certain parts of the day are best for certain tasks. When I do those tasks in their time it's more enjoyable, I feel better, and I can be more productive. These notions blow in the wind. They're easy to dismiss and they sometimes change. When I pay attention I find this daily practice something that's very fruitful.
I desire peace, love, balance? I used to get a real high from the positive feedback that's come from the work I do. My relationship to others, the community that those relationships built, and outside feedback inspired and drove the studio for many years. That kind of structure was amazing, and could go forever if I continued to subscribe, but if I ever wanted to say no it became difficult. I've been trying to find a new way to find value in my work, bringing value in itself. I'd like to say yes to the things that bring peace, (something that's very exciting to me) and know the ways to balance the responsibilities that come. This is an ongoing practice.
Before I die, I would like to.....
I would like to learn how to do so many things, but right now it's all about farming and architecture. I want to know how to grow my own food (or at least a big portion of it), and I want to know how to build my own home.
The book that changed my life......
I love books but don't really read much. I probably watch more movies and listen to music to gain deep experiences. All time favourite movie: Mad Max (1979) - "This is a threshold moment, Jonny. Step through". I'm also currently partial to the Bandcamp Daily podcast for musical inspiration.
The wisest words ever said to me were.....
The wisest words ever said to me came in the form of two letters, "OK". My wife once dismantled a lifetime of fear and anxiety that way, and it's been one of my favourite words ever since.