Camino de Santiago Neckpiece

In 2002 I walked on the ancient pilgrimage road called the “Camino de Santiago”, which cuts clear across northern Spain. Before leaving I had the idea of cutting out the silhouette of one flower, plant or leaf that stood out during each day of my journey.

Starting in the Pyrenees mountains separating France from Spain, then walking almost straight west across a country, I got to see fields of wildflowers in bloom, crops scorched by not enough water, grape and berry bushes that provided a bit of extra energy, concrete industrial areas that overtook the nature, the beautiful wide open space of the meseta-often free from anything green, and then finally the Galicia region, lush and damp filled with cheese producing cows fat from so much emerald colored grass.

Each day I would pick one flower as I walked, press it in my journal and the following night trace it and cut it out of white paper. The original plant was left behind, and when finished with my pilgrimage I had 40 plant cutouts as a kind of visual record of my journey. I had been working with these forms for two years, searching for a way to transform the simple outlines and the experience into a piece of jewelry The “Camino de Santiago” neckpieces are chains hand cut out of a piece of thin rubber that can be wrapped around the neck.

I find the chain to be a good metaphor for a slow walk, lines on a map, stems and roots on a plant, connections of experience. Not a traditional pilgrim badge, but this is what I earned after the completion of a journey.

camino santiago sketches


#imagemaprh area { outline:none;