Cave Geek Art’s Ansalon Map

My process:

I create my maps with a unique combination of ancient and modern materials and techniques. First, I use pyrography to burn the map onto traditionally tanned buckskin. This is deer leather that is tanned in much the same way it has been for tens of thousands of years. The burning process warps the leather and allows me to sculpt a 2-dimensional map.

I then paint it with natural pigments using primitive bone tools.

The Dragonlance Chronicles were my first fantasy books and will always remain my favorite. When I started making maps I knew I would make one of Ansalon one day, but wanted to wait until I was confident I could do it justice.

I decided not to include names of places on the map for a couple of reasons. First, there are too many places to choose from, and adding all of them would really clutter the map.

Second, with every map I make I like to come up with a story that places the map itself in that world. I knew I wanted this map to be a gift from someone, given through Astinus, to Tasslehoff Burrfoot. At first I thought Raistlin might be the gifter, but it didn’t feel quite right. I asked Margaret Weis about it and her reply was “I kind of doubt Raistlin would have done that. But Fizban certainly might have!”

I was dumbstruck that I didn’t think of that sooner, and loved the idea. So I decided the map is blank because Fizban gifted it to Tas to fill on his own as he traveled. I even included a little “Easter egg” in the map that hints at Fizban’s involvement.

I had the honor of having the map displayed at the Dragonlance 35th Anniversary Panel at Dragon Con with Tracy Hickman and Larry Elmore, along with a surprising amount of chicken feathers that seemed to appear out of nowhere. 😉


To learn more about Kfir and his work, please visit the Cave Geek Art website, visit his Twitch channel, or follow him on Instagram.

Kfir Mendel

About Kfir Mendel

Kfir Mendel combines his love of all things geeky with his love of all things natural and primitive to create a rather unique art style. Kfir has been featured on Geek & Sundry's Lore Masters show, in Geek Magazine, Skin and Ink Magazine, and more. You can find out more about Kfir and his work at cavegeekart.com.
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