Handmade books and other bookish things
Clea started making simple handmade books with children many years ago whilst she was a primary school teacher.
After a change of direction in 2021, she has been pursuing more creative ideas whilst working alongside her husband, photographer and educator, Adrian Beasley.
Clea and Adrian live on the stunning North Devon coast and a number of their joint workshops are based in their home studio and surrounding area.
Clea loves teaching people to develop their own page crafting skills through making handmade books and other related arts and crafts. She is also working on short editions of artist books and other handmade books which she hopes to offer for sale in the near future.
About Clea Beasley
Books have been an essential part of Clea's life for as long as she can remember. Her parents are antiquarian book dealers and she spent much of her childhood in the bookshop which was always part of their home.
Clea began a career as a primary school teacher back in 2001 and always enjoyed the process of teaching children to create books of their own, which they were always thrilled to take home to share with their families.
She was a late comer to photography in 2015 so still considers herself very much a beginner when it comes to making photographic images but loves the creative process. Discovering the ability to merge her interest in all things bookish, with one of her new loves, photography, has been a delightful rabbit hole to fall into!
After taking early retirement from teaching in 2021, Clea had time to devote to developing her bookmaking practice beyond the skills and forms that she had used many times with children. Her husband, Adrian, encouraged her to explore what might be available to help to refine and extend her skills. Clea took time out to complete an online bookmaking workshop with Lizzie Shepherd and Alex Hare and enjoyed working alongside other photographers learning to produce books that could contain a series of images. She found it reassuring to discover that the process that she had been using over many years with children to create folded books was the basis of the more refined version that Alex and Lizzie taught. This was a steppingstone to a great deal of experimentation and exploration of other book forms which is ongoing. Clea also completed a locally based workshop with a skilled bookbinder, Megan Stallworthy, launching her into an exploration of non-adhesive, sewn bindings.
As her skills and confidence continued to grow, Clea and Adrian decided to incorporate her skill set along with his expertise in photographic capture, editing and printing, to enable them to offer workshops for photographers. A conversation with the brilliant and inspiring, Paul Sanders towards then end of 2021, was the seed for the ideas which grew into their three leader 'Image and Word' series of workshops.
Over the past year, Clea also been privileged to work alongside Racheal Talibart - another wonderfully inspiring image maker. The opportunity to provide the book binding element in her 2-day Handmade Photobook Workshop with Adrian Beasley, based at her studio in Weybridge has been exciting.
Clea's personal project for 2023 is 'Book of the Week'. She is challenging herself to make a different binding or book structure each week and push herself to try new creative techniques along the way. Ultimately, she hopes this might feed into other creative workshops and the production of books to offer for sale.