Lake Placid Rachel King sat in Soul Roots Studio, carefully bending a thin strip of sterling silver into the shape of a lotus petal.
The studio is almost hidden, quietly tucked into the back of the Alpine Mall in Lake Placid.
Inside, its earth-tone colored walls are accented by simple, white birch tree silhouettes, and there is artwork displayed everywhere.
“Everything here is nature inspired, but it isn’t always a literal translation,” King said, gently tapping the lotus-hoop with a small hammer. “It’s how we interpret it individually, using our imaginations and who we are inside to interpret it.”
King uses different mediums to create her own interpretations of nature—painting, printmaking and her hand-crafted jewelry, which she sells under the name Earth Girl Designs.
Putting the hammer down, she paused from her work to point at a print hanging on the back wall of the studio space.
The black and white image, called Soul Roots, is of two trees growing on top of a boulder whose roots are intertwined.
To King it represents love, unity and her place in the Adirondacks.
“This was the inspiration for Soul Roots Studio as a whole,” King said. “There’s a bunch of symbolism in this piece—I finally decided to stay here and put some roots down.”
It seems King’s roots have always been firmly planted in the Adirondacks.
She grew up in Tupper Lake, and even though she strayed from the mountains to pursue a teaching degree at SUNY Potsdam, she now lives in Saranac Lake, and that isn’t an accident.
“When you grow up here you would think that it’s not so special after so long, but it’s had the opposite effect on me,” King said.
Since the Adirondacks have had such a profound influence on her art, King’s decision to open Soul Roots Studio with photographer Shaun Ondak and silver smith Kristina Mueller was an easy one.