After practice I went over to the famed artist’s work space on north Lake Union by the Ivar’s Salmon House and Bar.
Great move by me, I must say. Sounders FC representatives, including GM/owner Adrian Hanauer and GK Kasey Keller were there to announce a five-year partnership to create a unique piece of commemorative artwork that will be presented to the team’s two international friendly opponents, Chelsea and FC Barcelona.
Here’s what the piece of art, called the Emerald Spire, looks like. It’s made of handblown glass. Keller, Chihuly and Hanauer are in the photo.
Chihuly’s team of glass artists was making a replica of the piece while I was there.
Keller said he was honored to be there with Chihuly, who is a Tacoma native.
“What’s always customary is you give a gift to the other team as a token of what has happened on that day,” Keller said. He explained that since Chelsea, Barcelona and Seattle meetings are a rare occurrence, Sounders FC is presenting the teams the artwork for display in their vast trophy cases in their home cities.
“There will be a piece of Chihuly glass in their trophy case,” Keller said. “Everybody in Spain and London will see their trophy case and see that the game was in Seattle.”
Chihuly said he likes soccer and that he was happy to enter into a partnership with the team.
After the announcement Chihuly’s representative asked if I wanted to try some glass blowing. Oh yes, I said, and it was really fun. My air formed a glass bowl that is now cooling at Chihuly’s studio.