Monday, August 1, 2022

In the Artist's Studio: Felix Beaudry

 Annamaria on Monday

While we were in the Hudson Highlands together, friends from California invited me to go along to visit artist Felix Beaudry's studio.  Felix worked in textiles, they told me.  I thought I had an idea of what that meant.  What I saw hanging in his studio blew any preconceived notions out of my mind!

"They are three dimensional!" I exclaimed within seconds of saying hello.

 I looked carefully at the piece above, to see if the figures standing out in bas relief were appliqued.  They are not!

Felix Beaudry's works are nothing short of astonishing. A mask!  Whole heads of characters, with subtle  expressions, ranging from smug to dubious.   Knitted out of thread.



Felix Beaudry was born in Berkeley, California in 1996. He told me he has sketched and painted since he was very young. His mother taught him to knit when he was seven, but despite that early acquaintance with yarn, when he first enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design, he thought he would major in ceramics.

But then, his focus quickly switched to textiles, and he learned to work on a manual knitting machine.  Soon he graduated to the digital model on which he now makes the works of art you see here. It has 1400 teeny-tiny needles.  Each one of which must be instructed on what to do.

Felix begins with drawings.  He works out on a desk-top computer all the myriad details required to produce the work; then downloads the program to the Stoll knitting machine, which produces his design.  Just as it might spit out brocade for someone’s drapery or upholstery. But in Felix’s case, it makes a one-of-a-kind, astonishing work of sculpture.

My snapshots do not do his work justice.  Here are some professional photos from Felix's single-artist exhibition of two years ago:

And some photos that properly show his current work:

This fall, Felix will return to RISD to teach in the textiles department. I can't wait to see what astonishing creations will emerge as he and his students inspire one another. 


  1. Replies
    1. It fascinates me too. What he makes AND how he developed the means to make them.

  2. His work is amazing, but I find it slightly unsettling in a way I never expected textiles could be!

    1. You put your finger on it, Ovidio. Your comment points out that he is an artists creating works that express how unsettled the world has been since he was born. Y2K when he was 3? 9/11 when he was 5. (I cannot bring myself to go on with the catalog). Yet, he does not seem to be a gloomy person. Serious and focused, yes. Expressing it all in his art.