Born and educated in Paris, Iren Handschuh emigrated to the United States in 1971 where she began working in a women’s carpentry collective. In the 1980’s she worked in general construction, cabinet and furniture making in the Boston area, Cape Cod and the Islands. She studied architectural drafting at the Boston Architectural Center, and began working as a sculptor in the late 1980’s, moving away from the high precision of fine woodworking – what she refers to as “the tyranny of the 64th’s of an inch” - to the freedom of working organically, even primitively, in the tradition of Art Brut and Art Modeste."I devote much effort to and derive great pleasure in the pursuit of fine craftsmanship. I am inspired by Surrealism and feel an affinity with abstraction and the absurd. I have an interest in the mechanical aspect of sculpture – structure, rotation, and balance".