July 6, 2017

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Map of Middle Earth burned on leather

This is a really fun project. I have a map of Middle Earth that I burn on leather. I used to use suede, but have found that cow hide leather gives much better detail. So I start with a piece of vegetable tanned cow hide leather, nice and smooth. I trace the map of Middle earth with as much detail as possible. Using my Walnut Hallow Versa-tool I burn all the details, when I turn the heat down I can even shade a bit on the leather, it really takes the heat well and burns like butter. The only problem is that it builds quite a bit of soot on the tips and they need to be cleaned off much more frequently. When all the details are on there, I then add a number in Ancient Celtic runes and only the customer will know what that number means. If they choose, I will add their name to a place on the map as well. Then I age the map using various creams and polishes, work it well so it rolls up easily and finally add a string to tie it shut. I’ve sold several but will only sell a certain number so each is unique and special for the buyer.

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