A World of Calm (2020) s01e02 Episode Script

The Glassmaker

The sands that drift across our world hold a secret.
Over the centuries, we have learned that these golden grains can be magically transformed.
This is a story of an artist who turned sand into glass creating wonderous objects inspired by nature.
They say she can capture the wind.
The wind has a special purpose as it blows across the flat lands of the Netherlands.
Centuries ago, the Dutch became a nation of wind catchers, harnessing its power.
It's here that Bibi lives, a glassmaker famed for an act of magic.
Inside her creations, she conjures the wind.
In her workshop, she follows the ancient process of glassmaking Each step calling upon one of nature's primal elements: air and earth water and fire.
She begins by placing sand in her furnace.
Fire is the frontier that changes everything.
The texture of molten glass is extraordinary.
It is neither a solid nor a liquid.
Bibi likens it to honey.
Inside her crucible you can hear the last grains of sand slowly transforming into glass.
Nature has its own furnaces.
Inside these wonderous rivers flow currents of silver and gold But the richest ingredient by far is silica, the crystal building blocks of glass.
In Hawaii, these streams are said to embody the island's goddess of fire and creation Pele-honua-mea.
Pele-honua-mea is also a goddess of the wind, and as she blows across the silica rich lava, dark volcanic glass is formed.
Around the world, the wind breathes life into nature, and for Bibi, it is an irresistible challenge to catch hold of its playful spirit.
The next element in her process is air.
Through a hollow pipe, Bibi's apprentice delivers a gentle breath.
As it's infused with air, the glassmaker's creation begins to take shape.
As she spins the glass, Bibi imagines the wind in every shimmering strand.
Still at hundreds of degrees, these threads fuse into the surface of the glass Creating textures and distortions that will eventually play with the light.
As the hours pass, she returns the glass to the furnace The heat allowing it to be further shaped and transformed.
Curiously, all molten glass looks the same.
Only as it cools do the true colors begin to emerge.
In the heat of her evolving creation, Bibi senses the deep hues and radiance of a sunrise.
Some say the earliest glass on Earth was created by accident.
As Arabian nomads journeyed across the desert, their campfires may well have fused and transformed the sands on which they burned.
Pieces of glass found in nature are often dark and clouded, colored by the elements from which they were forged.
Desert glass is the color of burnished sand.
Creating glass as colorless and invisible as the wind would take ancient glassmakers centuries to perfect But the results would be sublime.
Water is the glassmaker's final element.
In Renaissance Venice, a guild glassblowers lived on the nearby island of Murano.
For generations they worked in secret in search of completely new type of glass.
Perhaps seeking to capture the reflections around their workshops, they were the first to invent cristallo Glass, breathtaking in its purity.
Their secret was adding powders of manganese to their furnaces to remove the colors and impurities within sand.
They created a glass as translucent as the water and the wind.
The secrets of clear glass would eventually escape the waterways of Venice Carried by merchants across the trade routes of Europe to the artisans and workshops of the Netherlands.
Fire and air, water and earth each element has played its part in Bibi's process.
In the last moments with her creation, she studies its contours and makes final adjustments to its shape.
As the glass finally cools, the perfect clarity she sought slowly emerges.
She smooths away imperfections.
Like the wind, it has no true color.
Instead, it does something remarkable: it absorbs the colors around it.
With the elements, Bibi has transformed glass into the essence of the wind.
The way it moves over the water The way it flows across the land The way it shapes our world.

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