A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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08 April 2020

Bin That.

Speaking to Janecki z Krakowa, I discover that my 'get over the site and open the bomb doors' theory on how the foundations of turbines are laid is complete nonsense. In fact, rock-dumping isn't used at all. Turbines are fixed in position in shallower waters by monopiles - usually of steel - driven into the seabed to a depth of around 30 metres. Deeper waters employ other methods and the latest experiments are demonstrating the efficacy of floating platforms.

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So the Flintstone (pictured here) and the Living Stone, when they're not laying cables, dump rocks and gravel over pipelines and sub-sea structures that need protection from fishing nets and so forth, using a fall pipe (rather like the strings of plastic buckets builders use to direct waste from higher levels to the ground on construction sites). These articulating pipes are guided by ROV's to place the ballast extremely precisely. Not quite the 'bombs gone, let's go home Skipper' operation of my imagination then.

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Encouraged by the results of my 'watercolour' experiments and rather than twiddle my thumbs in the hut, I further tested my new programme by converting some images from my collection of '100 Great Pictures' - great to me in any case. One of the things I noticed when in the 70's I was lodged with my Aunt in Montebello, a suburb of Los Angeles, was the profusion of telegraph poles. This picture always brings Steinbeck to mind. In my wanderings, I discovered Chino Airport where a ride in a P-51 was $50!

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I think I took this a decade later at the Gard du Nord in Paris. I was on my way to Limoges from Calais. I used this image as the basis for an oil painting - it would have been a lot easier if I'd had this programme to hand at the time - cheat fairly, as our games master used to say.

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The best place that I ever lived in London was a squat in Kings Cross. Light, airy, roomy and a short bus-ride from St Martin's School of Art where I was 'studying' by day and working printing textiles in Potters Bar in the evenings, it couldn't have been better placed. The tenement was stuffed with student squatters from the Middlesex Hospital. I visited some 30 years later and it had become a very fancy gated community with window boxes and a concierge.

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The beach at Wells-next-the-sea. There's probably that many people there at the moment.

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And finally, J. L. Seagull at Cape Cod. Once you've selected the type of transformation you want for your picture - watercolour, oil, poster, sketch and so forth, the controls that seem most important and have the most effect are 'blur' and 'iteration'. Blurring the edges to some degree is essential with scenes that have a lot of sky, otherwise the picture can look very computer generated. The amount of iteration is also crucial and I've found that less is more. Too many layers in 'watercolour' mode takes away the wishy-washyness. It starts to look a bit rubbish.

previous post Do Well.
next post Looking Ahead.


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