High Gothic

Full view of the new bookends supporting a set of Hellboy books.

I finally finished the redesigned flying buttress bookends I started working on sometime last summer. The work happened in fits and spurts: I’d designed a backplate I was happy with by the end of August, inspired by the shape of the eastern façade of Hexham Abbey in Northumberland, but it took me months to figure out a buttress design that would match both geometrically and artistically with the new backplate.

A couple weeks ago, I decided to try using a simplified version of the buttresses of Notre-Dame de Reims, based on this 14th-c. drawing by Villard de Honnecourt. The new buttresses were much less elaborate than 4Volt’s original design, but because I was making these bookends specifically for my Hellboy books, I wanted them to mimic the sharp silhouettes of Mike Mignola’s art as much as possible. After a quick tweak of the backplate to accommodate the new buttresses, and a day spent laser-cutting and painting, I could finally — finally! — cross these bookends off my list.

Side view of the black flying buttress bookends.

All of the pieces were cut out of 6mm birch plywood using a combination of an Epilog Zing 30W laser-cutter and an Epilog Legend 120W, and then painted with black acrylic. You can find an .svg template of the pieces on Thingiverse here.


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