Born in former Soviet Union, Irina Charny came to US in 1975. After high school, she attended UC Berkeley, where she studied film and architecture before transferring to UC Irvine, where she graduated with a degree in math. Perhaps this contributed to the mathematical precision of her mosaic art.
After graduation, Irina worked as a computer programmer for 7 years and hated every day of it! She then decided to attend UCLA where she graduated with a masters in Library Science. She then worked as a research librarian in a corporation for 3 years.
Since childhood, Irina has felt a need for artistic expression.
She studied ceramics in high school for four years and undertook various artistic hobbies ranging from large scale soft sculpture to polymer clay, to flameworked glass.
Irina discovered mosaics by accident while trying to "beautify" a fireplace damaged during earthquake.
She saw pictures in a magazine of a fireplace covered with broken tile and thought "I could do that". That was 15 years ago. Fortunately for us mosaic lovers, she has been working in mosaics since and has spent the last 8 years creating mosaic art professionally.
"As a child growing up in Russia, even before I knew they were called mosaics, I created collages from pieces of broken glass found in the street, rocks, paper, seashells, and bits of crockery. Through the years I tried various media for artistic expression but have now returned to my origin... mosaics. This medium gives me a chance to explore color, shape, and texture, to experiment with different materials, and satisfy the passion to integrate unrelated small bits into a single work of art."
Irina is a self-taught mosaicist who is inspired by the rich history of the medium. She strives to build a unique and personal art form on the base of classical mosaic.
"In addition to traditional mosaic tesserae, I incorporate unusual materials in my work � mirror, pebbles, found objects, beads, buttons, wire, handmade ceramic pieces, and broken plates. I never return home empty handed from a walk on the beach or a trip. Beach glass, pebbles from a path on Hampstead Heath, broken glass from a studio in Seattle, a bit of bone found on the shore are special little bits that are inserted into each mosaic to give it a special, personal meaning."
Ms. Charny creates mosaic panels, mirrors, decorative objects, and murals. Please visit her web site by clicking here, to see more of her intricate and beautiful work.
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