You're probably wondering what is The Village Arts Factory? The short answer is it's where Smokey Citrine just opened Studio 12! On June 25, 2021 we officially opened our space to the public! But did you know there are many other studios located in this lovely facility? We chose this space because there are so many fantastic people whose studios are located right in this building. There's also a pretty interesting history associated with it!
What you may not know about The Village Arts Factory is it's right next to the last factory built by Henry Ford while he was alive. In that time it was built to supplement income for people when the Willow Run Bomber Plant shut down and to assist with rehabilitation of veteran soldiers after WWII. You can read more about the history on The Village Arts Factory Website. I am sure there are folks and resources that know more about the origins and history of this space. If anyone has knowledge they'd like to share, please reach out.
There are so many reasons to stop by The Village Arts Factory! We just love pulling into the parking lot and stepping into the building to work. When a break is needed we go for a short walk to the Lower River Rouge or up to Village Theatre at Cherry Hill. The sunsets here are gorgeous and there are so many flowers to enjoy along the way. After spending nearly an entire year scared to go outside, the fresh air and scenery is so therapeutic!
What can you do here?
Like we mentioned above, we chose to open our first studio space in The Village Arts Factory because of the community within the building and around Cherry Hill. There is a feeling of welcome here that is just so genuine and charming. The intention we create with holds a similar energy. We first learned about The Village Arts Factory from Kelly Caroline, who is also resident artist in Studio 8! Kelly is an incredible henna artist, painter, and mother. Her husband, Nathan, is also a camera genius!
We've fallen in love with several of our neighbors and their works as well! Kelly Darke in Studio 13 is next door and we can't get enough of the colorful embroidered fiber works made with vintage fabrics. We're also obsessed with True 2 You's double studio where you can create custom candles with all your favorite people or purchase a stunning fresco painting to adorn your space with. Across the hall from Studio 12 in Studio 11 is Good Vision Studios a professional photography business. These are just a few of the fantastic businesses featured in The Village Arts Factory at this time. There are so many things to do here and everyone is so dedicated to what they do. It's truly inspiring. Be sure to check out The Village Arts Factory some time and hey, maybe become a familiar face around these halls! I know we'd love to see you! Be sure to check out all the events going on in the building! You can see the calendar here! Just scroll down to see upcoming events!
We are beyond excited to announce our April Birthstone Collection featuring Herkimer Diamond Quartz Crystals sourced by our hands in the USA. We have traveled to Central New York for the last two years sourcing these gorgeous gemstones directly to create the most exciting jewelry for you. These gemstones are double terminated, crystal clear, and formed right here in the USA!
Instead of working with the traditional April Birthstone, we decided to employ Herkimer Diamond Quartz. Herkimer Diamond Quartz rivals the diamond in beauty, natural form, and luminance. What does double terminated mean? This term refers to the points on each end of the crystal. You may have seen a crystal point in your life. It usually has a point on one end and the other end is more raw or rugged because it's been plucked from the host stone. The host stone is also known as the Matrix. Herkimer Diamonds are unique because their formations have points on both sides, meaning double terminated.
Citrine read the Herkimer Diamond Quartz entry from The Book of Stones on her youtube channel. You can listen to this crystal reading by clicking here. Herkimer refers to ONE of the areas in Central New York where these fabulous gemstones are found and mined for. The term 'Diamond' in the name is reference to the stunning and nearly perfect crystal shapes these gems form in, directly out of the earth. We kid you not, you can crack open the host stone and pick up a perfectly shaped crystal that's also optically clear! Many times without washing or cleaning the surfaces. Some of these crystals have black inclusions which create a wonderful cosmic aesthetic with sparkles and rainbows. The Herkimer Diamond Quartz is truly magnificent and that is exactly why we created these jewels for you to wear.
We don't always get custom jewelry requests but when we do, we love the process. It's a lot of fun and an exciting challenge to turn your visions into a reality. Our most recent request was sent to us as a drawing - you can see the drawing below in the slide show.
The occasion? A local artist is having an art opening for their new studio space. We were thrilled to begin designing an electro-formed branch with amethyst gems budding off the ends. This was our first time coating organic material in copper so we had new skills to learn. Yay! We began by sourcing the amethyst gemstones from one of our favorite local gemstone shops - World Of Rocks. Then found a small branch in our back yard. Cleaned it then coated the branch twice in clear varnish. Next it got a luxurious coating or two of graphite paint. The amethyst gems were attached with copper tape. Last we added the 'eyes' to attach the chain after electro-forming.
When we suspended the branch into the electro-form batch it was nearly instantly that the copper began to coat the surface. It was awesome to watch. It was left to coat over night and well into the afternoon. Wah-la! All we had to do was add the copper chain and a couple accent beads with a clasp. It turned out wonderful. We hope you love it.
-Citrine & Craig
Happy Spring beautiful people! It's the season to clean up your home, pot new plants, and browse artist markets. Speaking of artist markets we will be showing some of our latest jewels at the Art In Bloom Artist Market at The Village Arts Factory April 17 & 18. We would love if you'd register to attend and come stop by to chat about Herkimer Diamond Quartz! Herkimer refers to the name of the area these lovely gems are found in Central NY. We leave for our third annual trip to Central New York the day after this market to mine for more of these gorgeous double terminated Quartz crystals. We are also naming Herkimer Diamond Quartz the April #birthstone and are releasing a new collection of #electroformed jewelry featuring these delightful gems. You can order online or visit us in person at the #artinbloom artist market.
Please register before to attend. The event is free and don't forget to wear your mask!
Our new copper electroformed jewelry will be available online starting April 1, 2021. Along with the new collection of jewelry we are releasing a new selection of Crystal Candles on our website.
This is our new scent list:
1. Dark Rose - Disco Fire Quartz
2. Sandalwood Basalm Lemon Grass - Tumbled Clear Quartz
3. Lavender & Sweet Orange - Banded Agate
4. Coffee Cacao Flowering Clove - Smokey Quartz
5. Cedarwood Dahlia Birch Eucalyptus - Amethyst
Let me tell you these candles smell amazing! This is our third batch and every time we make them they get better. My personal favorite is the Sandalwood Basalm and Lemon Grass with the tumbled clear quartz. UGH! Smells delightful but seriously they are ALL good. The Crystal Candles are made with organic, non toxic soy wax, whispering wooden wicks, and non toxic fragrances or essential oils. Please note that we will not have our candles at the artist market April 17 & 18. You can order online to have them shipped or contact Citrine directly for pickup or drop off locally. <3
Our website is offering FREE shipping from here on out. You may notice the price of the candles rise a bit and that is PURELY because of the cost to ship them. The post office charges a lot for items that have weight to them. We hope you understand. Thanks for reading! More on the way but for now, we have to update our website and inventory for you! Be blessed!
- Citrine & Craig
Smokey Citrine is not all crystals and jewelry. We love good food. Here on the Cauliflower & Coffee section we will share simple recipes for eating at home and our thoughts on local restaurants. We are kicking our food blog off with one of our favorite things to eat that is so simple to make at home: Veggie Wraps!
This recipe is plant based but you can easily add your favorite meats into the mix if you want! Some times we add tuna, lunch meat, or a boiled egg. Craig and I make different variations of the same wraps. We have different preferences as far as stuffing goes! So don't be afraid to add your favorite veggies or grains to this. Customize these wraps for your eating needs!
What you'll need:
Tortilla Wraps - Burrito Size - We like 313 Urban by Haciendas but that is local to Detroit
Lettuce - Your choice but we use Red Leaf
Banana Peppers - In a jar
Honey Mustard Dressing
Mushrooms - Craig's favorite ingredient
Boiled Beets - Citrine's Favorite ingredient
*Personally I add Boiled Beets. That takes a bit more prep time. I boil a bunch of beets up - drink the beet juice - and slice them up to use through out the week.
The process is fairly simple once you've conjured your favorite veggies. If you're really good you can meal prep for the week by slicing all the ingredients up and putting them into your favorite storage containers. We cut up enough for our wraps and place the remaining veggies into bees wax wraps for refrigeration until hunger strikes again.
Place your veggies onto your choice of tortilla or wrap, add dressing and feta, wrap it up and boom your wrap is ready to eat!
Gemstones are all beautiful and interesting in their own unique ways and it's hard for me to pick a single favorite. As the clock keeps ticking and my mind gains knowledge my favorite gems can change. I have many favorites for many different reasons, so for this entry I will stick to a couple of the ones that inspire my jewelry creativity. Currently my favorite stones are Amethyst and Herkimer “Diamond” Quartz.
Amethyst, to me, comes off as a very mystical stone. The deep purple that appears to enter the clear quartz in a ghostly manner makes me think of wise spirits creeping into one’s physical plane. The color purple is usually used to describe passion and something dear to your heart and spiritual center, so when I see a purple amethyst I automatically start thinking about the spirit world’s influence on physical life. Amethyst is very abundant and deep purple in my mother continent Africa. That could be another reason that I feel so connected to it.
Herkimer “Diamond” Quartz is important to me for a couple of reasons: It’s natural brilliance and clarity, and it will always remind me of the adventure Citrine and I recently took to Herkimer NY.
Herkimer’s are super pretty in their natural state. Mining for them is like pulling hand cut glass from Earth’s solid womb. I love the fact that these stones are practically extracted in a form that’s already ready for gifting or jewelry making. After a fresh rain in the Herkimer quarry, the ground shimmers as if the earth has been coated in fine glitter. I also feel the spirit of Herkimer County NY in these stones. When we were there, we met many friendly and welcoming people who thoroughly enjoyed life’s natural beauty. Mining for Herkimer Quartz is super hard work, but the feeling you get when you finally see the stone’s shimmer is totally worth every drop of sweat.
A few honorable mentions are Emeralds, Smokey Quartz, Tourmaline, and the many varieties of Garnets.
Jewelry Designer | Co-Founder of SmokeyCitrine
Why I love gemstones and one of my favorite stones:
I love gemstones because they are naturally occurring in our planet. They form in complex geometric shapes or large amorphous masses. Gemstones are full of mystery because they formed many years ago before any of us existed. Some times gemstones appear immediately clear and sparkly, some times they have to be discovered, cleaned, and polished. Fossils occur in stones which is one of my initial fascinations with stones. There’s nothing quite like searching for interesting minerals on long walks through different terrain. I love the vibrant and rich colors of stones. It’s a reminder that color exists naturally and we should expose ourselves to more color.
The ages of gemstones are miraculous. We can hold in our hands something that predates all that surrounds us, even the gigantic rock we live on. How cool is that? We as humans are made up of many of the minerals these gemstones are comprised of. Calcium, iron, water. Suppose these stones are manifestations of older life forms incapsulated. Many people across the world believe gemstones are their ancestors.
One of my favorite stone is Moss Agate. Moss Agate captures my attention for many reasons. I enjoy the serene color palette ranging from clear, white, green, orange and red. These specimen look strikingly similar to moss we experience in forests. Some times they look like land scapes or aerial views of the planet. I could look at polished moss agate all day. It’s an inspiring depiction of earthly elements that reminds me how our planet is remarkably beautiful. I feel connected to our planet and its nature scapes when observing it. Moss agate is a humble stone full of intricacies that makes me appreciate life in its many capacities. It takes me to a green space heavily wooded with no human touch or civilization. A peaceful vision and mood that invites us to remain in tune with nature’s all encompassing life giving energy.
Jewelry Designer | Co-Founder of SmokeyCitrine
We are SmokeyCitrine, a dynamic and creative duo of artists that share a passion for gemstones, a natural lifestyle, spirituality, jewelry making, and virtually all kinds of artistry. Through SmokeyCitrine we will be releasing limited quantity handmade jewelry, unique gemstones, and one of a kind Artworks all made with the intention of bringing light, excitement, and love to your personal space. We believe that life is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed to the fullest, and sometimes the right jewelry can make you feel perfect with peak optimism.
We Believe in
Making Everything Ourselves
Everything sold in our shop, other than some of the beads and modified gemstones, are created by our hands and equipment in our home studio in Southwest Detroit. Our plan is to evolve into a gallery location with a storefront so every purchase from our store will contribute to that evolution. We are forward thinkers with a lot of inspiration from the past and spirituality. If you are ever close to Metro Detroit, contact us for an intimate tour of our jewelry studio where you will be able so see our completed works as well as our works in progress and try some things on.