Sonja moved to Ireland from Germany in 1995 and entered Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork the following year to study product design/ ceramics. Afterwards she trained in the Craft Council of Ireland’s pottery skills course, graduating with the Student of the year award in 2000. Following this she worked as a production potter/ thrower in a local pottery studio.
After a year out in Australia she returned to Co. Kilkenny to develop her own work as well as teach. For the past ten years she’s been teaching people with special needs, evening classes for children and adults and producing her own ranges of tableware and sculptural works. She has had 2 solo shows, regularly exhibited as part of the fringe during Kilkenny Arts Festival and taken part in several other exhibitions and craft fairs.
Sonja uses a combination of throwing and hand-building techniques and likes experimenting with colour, texture and shape. Though using the same white stoneware clay for all her works she tries to push the boundaries of that material. Furthermore colour plays an important part in her work with a wide range of oxidation stoneware glazes, coloured slips and oxides being used.
In 2007 she picked up on where she left of in Art College, further developing her architectural works. These caricatures of buildings have been very well received in the last few years and are slowly becoming the focus of her work. Most of the buildings are fictional or a combination of aspects of existing buildings and architectural styles. She has also done several commissions, caricaturing actual buildings and people’s private homes and always welcomes the challenge to work to a brief. Her houses featured on Nationwide in January 2012 and are part of the Lavit Craft collection in Cork and available in the Maker’s Market in Thomastown.