2022 News


Hello everyone! I've got some Cave Geek news for you. I can't say it's good, but it's not really “bad” either. It's just what it is.

As you can probably guess, the last two years have been difficult. With the beginning of Covid, and the subsequent cancellation of most conventions (and rightly so, I still dont think they should be happening), I saw the vast majority of my income evaporate.
A lot of my creative friends suffered similar fates, and in some ways I am luckier than most. I am grateful for the support I received from my small community of fans, especially on Twitch (where I continue to stream work and games almost daily), and along with some commissions and the various pandemic assistance programs (read: loans), I made it through ok.

There's a “But” coming...


But... I have to be honest with myself and look at things as they really are, and what I know is that it's not sustainable.

I was getting tired of exhibiting at conventions even before the pandemic. Now? To be honest, I'm very much over it.
And I'm fairly certain this isn't the last pandemic we're going to see in our lifetime, either.

With that, I will be scaling back my convention schedule significantly. Currently, in 2022 I'm only scheduled to exhibit at two: Gary Con (in March), and Dragon Con (September). One or two others may be added, but in general your chances of seeing me, and my art, at a convention in the future are slim to none unless you attend the ones mentioned above.

Moreover, the increased cost of paper, inks, and shipping (not to mention nearly everything else across the board), means I will be forced to increase my print prices in 2022, starting February 1st.So if you'd like to get anything before the prices go up, now is the time.

What about original pieces in buckskin? Don't worry, I have no plans of stopping. I have always been happiest when I'm creating something with my hands, and that's not going to change.

That said, I will definitely be slowing down, as I search for more reliable means of making a living. 
This means my original commission prices will also increase, to an hourly wage that more reflects the unique materials, skills, and long tedious hours involved in creating the art I make. Any commissions locked in before Feb 1st will be “grandfathered” in at the current prices.

Again, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all my patrons and fans who have supported my art through the years, and continue to do so. Every one of you is important to me, and every piece I make and send off to a new home is a part of me I'm both sad and happy to send out into the world. There is no better feeling as an artist than to know my art makes people happy. That even if just for a moment, as you look at it, you can remember and get lost in your favorite imaginary world through my maps, especially when our own world isn't very much fun to be in sometimes. Without your support, I would not have created many of the things I have, and the world would arguably be slightly poorer for it.

Thank you,

Kfir “Cave” M.

About Me

I have been creative, and a geek, for as long as I can remember.


I read fantasy and sci-fi voraciously, played Dungeons & Dragons non-stop with my friends, and spent almost every waking moment imagining fantastic worlds, monsters, and epic adventures.


Then, in November of 2000, I attended a course on wilderness survival which exposed me to the wide world of "Primitive" skills, and my life took a new course.


A passion for ancient ways of doing things took over, and I began to focus my creativity on ancient techniques and natural materials.

A walk in the woods often yields a piece of wood, or bone, that "calls" to me. I might have no idea what it could become. Maybe a club, a bow, or a spear?

Sometimes that piece of the woods sits quietly, for years, until one day it tells me what it wants to be.

In the meantime, I focused on making traditional brain-tanned buckskin for a living. It is an ancient (yet still valid)  natural technique to make an extremely soft, supple, luxurious, and yet strong and durable leather.


After a few years, my love for all things geeky began to merge with my love for all things natural and primitive.


I started making bone knives and swords inspired by weapons I saw in movies or by various cultures.


Soon, I got interested in pyrography (similar to woodburning) and started burning all things geeky on buckskin. It actually started with a map of Middle Earth.

To my surprise, art burned on buckskin acquires a three-dimensional look.


I just can’t get enough of it! Every time I finish a piece, I can’t believe how cool it looks. Fortunately, I'm not the only one who likes my work.

Jason Momoa and Westeros Map
Jason Momoa and Westeros Map

Khal Drogo himself with my buckskin map of Westeros from the HBO series Game of Thrones.

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The "Hobbitses" and Gollum With My Middle Earth Map
The "Hobbitses" and Gollum With My Middle Earth Map

Andy Serkis (Gollum), Elijah Wood (Frodo), Sean Astin (Sam), with me and my Middle Earth map.

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Dragonlance Creators With a Map of Ansalon
Dragonlance Creators With a Map of Ansalon

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, creators of the Dragonlance saga, pose with my buckskin map of the continent of Ansalon.

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Jason Momoa and Westeros Map
Jason Momoa and Westeros Map

Khal Drogo himself with my buckskin map of Westeros from the HBO series Game of Thrones.

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Which is why this website exists.


I've been featured on Geek & Sundry's Lore Masters show, in Geek Exchange Magazine, Skin and Ink Magazine, and more. 

So, thanks for checking out this site, and I hope you enjoy my work as much as I enjoy creating it! Want a map that isn’t just art, but an artifact? Inquire about a commission!

~ Kfir M.

About the Process

My unique creative process starts with a design stage, which is usually a combination of good old fashioned paper and pencil and digital graphic design to test various compositions, sizes, and so on.


Once the design is finalized, next comes the material itself: Brain-tanned buckskin.

While brain-tanned buckskin  is one of the oldest types of leather -- dating back tens of thousands of years -- it remains one of the highest quality varieties to this day, being incredibly strong and luxuriously soft and supple.


Brain-tanned buckskin is named such due to the traditional use of fats found in animal brains to soften the hide. The “tanning” process is a rather simple but labor-intensive one, and the attention to detail necessary to produce good quality buckskin means it’s nigh impossible to accomplish with machines. This is why traditional buckskin is still made by hand today, in much the same way it’s been done for thousands of years.


While I used to tan buckskin myself, I can no longer do so due to an injury. For my art, be it a map, a portrait, or wildlife piece, I select only the softest and cleanest buckskins from professional and ethical tanners.


Since every hide is different in size, shape, color, thickness, suppleness, and other features, I further select the individual hide that fits the particular project I am about to create. This is the same whether I’m creating a single tree on a square inch of leather for my digital map packs, or an entire world map on a full skin.


Next comes the tracing of the design onto the leather in a process similar to the ancient method called “pouncing,” in which I lay the design (printed on paper) onto the skin, and then use a pyrography pen to poke holes through the paper, burning thousands of tiny dots into the hide underneath. This can take several hours, depending on the size and detail of the piece, but at the end I have a “map” of the design transferred onto the leather.

Then comes the main step that makes my work pop: The burning.

Pyrography is the art of “drawing with fire,” commonly used on wood (when it’s called woodburning). I use a custom-made, very fine-tip pen to connect all the dots I created during the tracing, and then begin to burn depth and shapes into the hide.


Being skin, the leather reacts to the heat by shrinking, which I use to my advantage to allow me to “sculpt” it into the various three-dimensional shapes: mountains, trees, rivers, wings, flowers, or whatever it may be.

Hummingbird (detail)

Hummingbird (detail)

A close-up of the hummingbird from my Wildlife collection.

The Northern Realms (detail) from The Witcher

The Northern Realms (detail) from The Witcher

One of my most involved and complex creations -- the result of over three hundred hours of work.

The warping of the skin is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it creates the beautiful 3D relief that makes my pieces come to life, but on the other hand, it can be challenging to maintain the shapes and relative position of each of the various elements in a piece. Straight lines are particularly tricky, but it’s a challenge I welcome!

In some cases, when the aim is to create as three-dimensional a piece as possible, I burn, cut, and sculpt separate pieces of buckskin on their own and then attach them to the main one.

Once all the burning and sculpting is finished, if the piece is to be painted at all, I use all-natural powdered pigments which I mix with either water and glue. For especially “primitive” projects, the pigments are mixed with fluid from ethically sourced deer eyeballs, which is an ancient paint base medium. For “brushes”, I use bone, wood, and feather applicators I make myself.

All together, this process is time-consuming and requires a great degree of focus. It can take a dozen hours even for simple projects, and I’ve worked on fully detailed maps that took 200-300 hours to complete.

The same exact process, but in miniature, is used to create the individual assets for my digital map packs. Every mountain, tree, hill, or castle is first made by hand using the same methods and tools. It is then photographed and digitally processed into a standalone object used to build drag-and-drop maps.

If you’d like to learn more about the process, you can watch me work live on my Twitch channel.

To inquire about custom commissions, contact me here!

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Winter is Coming
Winter is Coming
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