Not-so tiny bubbles on the beach

Newport bubble artist/engineer Dustin Skye awes onlookers last week at Nye Beach in Newport with his giant bubble creations, forged from Skye’s own handmade equipment and bubble soap. Skye says he most enjoys how his bubbles bring happiness to the curious who watch him create on local beaches, at parties and festivals. (Photos by Jeremy Burke).

Newport native for hire produces bubble art, smiles

NEWPORT — Those who’ve spent some time recently at Newport’s Nye Beach have most likely taken note of Dustin Skye. More accurately, the gigantic bubbles Skye produces with homemade instruments are mostly what people are drawn to.

Though he’s worked a variety of jobs throughout his adult life, from warehouse worker to lumber yard employee, Skye says there’s little that matches the joy he gets from seeing others stand in awe of his bubble creations.

“Whenever I’m out there bubbling on the beach, it always draws a bit of a crowd of people because most people haven’t seen giant bubbles like the ones I make,” Skye said in late September. “It really is pretty mind-blowing to see it in person, especially for the first time.”

Skye, a 1990 Newport High School graduate, was initially drawn to bubble making — or “bubbling” as he calls it — when his children weren’t much more than newborns. When the kids were a bit older, a little more than 10 years ago, he used an old bubble-making contraption found deep in one of his closets called a Bubble Thing to entertain the kids. 

But Skye said he quickly realized the Bubble Thing has its limitations.

“The kids were having a great time with it, but my hands were getting all soapy and wrinkly from getting soaked with liquid,” he said.

So Skye went ahead and began doing some tinkering on his own and watching online videos for help until he created and produced his own bubble-making wand. After posting examples to YouTube and Facebook of his bubble creations using his homemade equipment, Skye began receiving inquiries about making wands and his own bubble soap solution for other bubble enthusiasts.

Skye then went into business for himself, selling his bubble-related tools. He even went so far as to learn computer-aided design from online videos, bought a 3D printer and developed a fog machine to create a smoke effect to pair with his gigantic bubbles. 

He says that for the last six or seven years, he’s mainly kept busy designing and building his mini fog machine for use by bubble experts.

At the heart of it all, Skye most enjoys taking the occasional job putting on bubble-making performances at fairs, festivals, private parties and other events. He says he loves making bubbles on Newport’s Nye Beach and at the Yachats Ocean Road State Natural Site when conditions are right.

“I think what I like most about making giant bubbles is that it inevitably makes someone’s day,” he said. “It’s just really nice to bring some joy and a bit of wonderment to complete strangers during the times we’re living in right now. That’s what it’s all about.”

To reach Skye, who calls himself a bubble engineer and artist, send an email to [email protected] or call 541-272-6019.

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