Sonia creates etchings and collographs of animals and birds. She begins with a simple line drawing allowing her to study form, muscle structure and examine a creature.
For the etchings, Sonia uses carmine paper to transfer the drawing onto a zinc plate. The animal is then fleshed out by using aquatint techniques.
To create textures of fur or feather, Sonia covers the plate with soft wax, then scratches into the wax with various tools. These include wire brushes, a metal pan-scrub, a rough sponge or a studded wheel called a roulette.
Nitric acid bites into the scratches to make grooves which will hold the printing ink. The final act is to print the image on a large cast iron Rochat press.
The background of the image is minimal or non-existent to allow the focus of the viewer to gaze on the animal. You look at the animal, and the animal looks at you. The eyes have it!
After over twenty years of using the strange complicated techniques of etching, Sonia is still surprised by the characters of the animals that appear.