Eric Elam, the “sultan of soap,” has been making huge soap bubbles for about four years entertaining crowds along PB's boardwalk. People inevitably show up to witness the magic of Elam's amazing bubbles.
Using two fishing poles, Elam's crafted a giant wand with attached loop that he dips into his pre-made, 5-gallon plastic bucket. The wind does the rest, blowing through the loop generating a long, cylindrical column of bubbles about 12 feet long, which break apart before drifting, dancing and dazzling the crowd.
What is giant bubble making for Elam? Work? A hobby? Entertainment?
“I'm not paid to do this,” said the low-key, soft-spoken Elam, who talked about how he got started.
“A friend of mine was making bubbles, and I thought I could make them bigger,” he said. “I got the recipe online.”
When asked what goes into making a big bubble, Elam replied, “Not a lot — dishwashing liquid, water and a bucket.”
What inspired Elam to seek the “ultimate” soap bubble?
Hesitating a moment, he replied that the urge first struck him to try bubble making on steroids following a break-up in a personal relationship.
“People are loving it,” he explained. “I love people watching.”
And watch they did, young, the old, passersby.
“Some have said my bubbles can be seen six blocks from here at the Pacific Beach Library,” said Elam, who gives regular bubble demonstrations at 6 p.m. at the end of Hornblend Street at the boardwalk on weekdays, and on Diamond Street on Sundays. He continues to put smiles on the faces of kids of all ages. And he doesn't charge for his services.
Ever wonder how bubbles are formed?
A bubble is just air wrapped in soap film. Soap film is made from soap and water (or other liquid). The outside and inside surfaces of a bubble consist of soap molecules. A thin layer of water lies between the two layers of soap molecules, sort of like a water sandwich with soap molecules for bread.
Invented by Taiwanese bubble solution expert Jackie Lin, the top-secret solution contains a polymer that allows bubbles to resist evaporation.
The history of soap bubbles is as old as that of soap. But bubbles are no longer simply soap and water.
Find out more about Elam's amazing bubbles on his Facebook page.
How To Make Soap Bubbles:
1. Pour warm water in the bowl.
2. Mix the soap in the water.
3. Add some glycerin/sugar/corn syrup in it. ...
4. Stir the solution until the contents are mixed completely.
5. Add any shampoo of choice to the solution. ...
6. Pour into a storage container with a lid.
7. Blow bubbles.