In such a young and vibrant community as Bozeman, the number of inspired and eager artists is large. From music, to graphic design and photography, it is difficult to sort through the rabble to find works that appeal to the masses. One artist who has rapidly made a name for herself in the Bozeman art community is Morena Garcia.

Morena, has been making hand crafted jewelry in the Bozeman area since her sophomore year of high school at BHS in 2005. She specializes in working with silver and naturally occurring gems and stones. Morena has of late developed her own business to market and sell her finery, under the handle Fly Free Designs. I recently got together with Morena and as she melted down some for my amusement, we chatted about her history as an artist and plans to further make it as a jewelry craftswoman.

Where did you career as an artist begin?

BHS Represent! (That’s Bozeman High School) The ol’ Stacie Smith for a teacher in beginner jewelry class.

How long have you been making custom jewelry?

Well I made some sweet led zeppelin things in beginner class. And cut out Lincoln’s face from a penny sophomore year, 2005.

What do you love most about the work you do?

The thing I love most is probably the process and the flow. It’s more than just something like a hobby. When I am creating I never stop thinking. Sometimes I am so caught up in thought, when I finally look down, I am almost surprised at what I made. As you process thoughts and emotions they come out in your work. Burning things away is a very powerful feeling. I have had some rough days and to be able to take sadness and pain and fuse them into something beautiful and give it away is a feeling of freedom and transformation. To be appreciated for the direct result of what your hands made gives you strength.

What are your favorite types of pieces?

Really good ones! I guess you could think of it like shredding a sweet line. Some days the snow is just perfect, you feel a little better than the day before, you hit the line just the way you wanted and it's nothing but smiles at the bottom. Some days a project just comes together really nicely; I adjust the heat better, my positioning is on, the composition is stacked and you look at the finished product and it's all smiles. Of course it can go the other way also, there are quite a few pieces that go in the ‘oopsy’ pile.

Where do you derive your creative passion? From within you/ people around you/ your environment?

There is a quote that goes something like “inspiration is nothing without creation”. I am easily inspired. I read books and movies, listen to stories and songs, see the struggles and successes, the frowns and failures and want a way to express them to tell my version of the story. So my creativity is a whole culmination of everything seen through my filter. Also the idea of legacy inspires me greatly. There have always been craftsmen that create relics of their culture and in a way I like doing that as well.

Where do you want your work to take you in the future?

I am getting my Bachelor’s degree in Business Science Administration, emphasis in Management and Marketing with a minor in Small Business/Entrepreneurship, and an Associates degree in Aviation. I am hoping to use these skills to create a multi-faceted platform to achieve my life dream. I am applying for art shows in different states this summer and hope my work can take me on ‘tour’. If jewelry never becomes a multi-million dollar enterprise for me, that’s fine, I just hope I retain the love for it my whole life, and that is the best future I could imagine for my work.

Morena recently moved her studio and gallery space into a small space at 109 E Main, Suite #2. Bozeman, MT 59715 with Fran Ze Photography. Be sure to stop in and check out her creative process or buy some crafty and beautiful hand crafted jewelry and assorted décor. They are having a grand opening on February 4th, so stop by then or sooner!

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