Far Out Bubbles is a Blast from the Past
A simple summer pleasure returns
Blowing bubbles on a warm summer day has never gone out of style — for kids, that is. Blowing bubbles dates back to the 1700s, but it wasn’t until the Summer of Love (1967) that young adults picked up wands in numbers and grooved on the ephemeral, iridescent spheres.
Decades later, bubbles are popping back up. Perhaps it’s because the hippies are now grandparents. Or maybe, as technology becomes an integral part of our lives, we long to shift our gaze up from the smartphone screen to the sky above.
There’s even an International Bubble Blowing Day on May 6 when wands are raised from the Netherlands to Japan and, yes, to Woodstock, New York. The point? “For love, in the memory of someone, or for world peace,” says the event’s website.
Far out, right? “Definitely,” says Jill Carson, who harkened back to her hippie days when she started her Far Out Bubbles business from her home in Keene two summers ago.
“I bought bubbles to play with my granddaughter two years ago. They were drippy and watery and didn’t work very well. It was hard to get one going,” she says. “Brooklyn would blow and the solution would pop before a bubble got formed. It was frustrating and sloppy and far from the magical experience I wanted it to be for her.”
At that moment, Carson remembered making her own bubble solution when her children were young, and she started to experiment.
“They were big, colorful and non-toxic and hung in the air for a long time.”
“There’s a lot more than you think that goes into it if you want to do it right,” she explains. “You have to factor in weather, temperature and time of day in addition to the solution,” she adds.
In fact, did you know the best time to blow bubbles is on a humid, gray day? Humidity is great for bubble blowing as it adds to their longevity. Carson also explains that it’s best to blow bubbles first thing in the morning or in the early evening, as the hot heat of the day can thin out the bubbles’ membranes, causing them to pop more easily.
Carson soon came up with a formula that created big, juicy bubbles that glowed like opals and hung in the air for a relatively long time.
“I kept looking at them and saying to myself, ‘Far out. This is what I remembered a bubble should look like. Those are really far out.’ — yes, I still say that. And that’s when I named them.”
But Carson didn’t stop there. She wasn’t crazy about the plastic wand constructed out of “cheap plastic materials made overseas,” so she created her own, colorful wood and rope wands with these usage instructions: “Just dip the wand in bubble mix, then stand with the breeze to your back and hold the wands up in the air. Allow the wind to form the giant bubble, and then close the sticks to release the bubble. Then repeat for hours of fun.”
“When people blow bubbles, I feel like it’s a heartfelt experience,” she says. “They get in touch with something deep and beautiful. It’s not a silly thing. Bubbles are like little, clinging gifts.”