Objects from Chicago, from the first Junk Swap were given out at BABE to exhibition visitors whom we asked to go and find corresponding objects from the streets of Bristol to trade in.
I found a piece of broken glass with brown stuff on the edge of the river Avon. I thought about taking a bottle top  instead but it was too manky and I felt it might be disrespectful to give dirty junk. I took a nail from Chicago because it was pretty. - Hepzibah

4 holes counter-sunk steel. ½” wide strap for repairing anything. Found on Bristol quay 20 April 2013 on my 82 birthday – after searching for 80 years. - Gordon

I donated a large brown button found in a gutter in Bristol some time ago. It spent some time in my pocket along with other found objects. It has been exchanged for a large rusty metal washer thing. - Julia

Shiny buttony clip thing found on College green. Taken: lighter top. 
- Sue

Small silver foil (used) swapped for dead headed bolt. - Mat


Gave: Gold bottle top squashed.

Got: I chose a kind of silver bathroom fitting. I collect a lot of junk. I keep some in jars and then I display the really good stuff in a type setting drawer that I have pinned to the wall called the ‘bits box’. This will go in the bits box.

- Wilf


Name on card cut out  - bit of a cheat - exchanged for a bit of steel cylinder.
- Mon

Donated from Bristol: small metal object, 3 holes 1pin. Exchanged for a Camping Heater Recall label (paper).
- Benoit aka ‘object’

£1 off sightseeing voucher found at caravan Club, Baltic Wharf. - J

Gave: A square of black plastic about 3cm x 3cm with raised writing on one side, found on the pavement near a large church.  I took a piece of cable thing with twisted metal one end and plastic the other end. I might throw it away. - Donna

Donated: found in Bristol: a shopping list found on the ground (perhaps in Victoria square?) today. - aem

I took a brass latch to occupy my nervous hands. I have something to play with now! I left a cork to a bottle of Moscato. I have millions! 
I took a penny that was on heads for good luck. I left a light switch – on ‘off’.
I took a DV/MP4 player; my son will like playing with it. I left a doll toy.

I took a postcard and left a tiger balm.

I took a rock! And I left tabs from the hospital.

I left a bobby pin – found in every pocket, but never when I need one. I took a ceramic medallion for its color.

Left part of a jaw bone, of a young deer. Took a C-clamp.

I left a little Mermaid publicity photo from a press kit. My brother was a film critic and he died over 20 years ago from AIDS. It was his. Took a jaw bone.

I left a box that you can keep things in, which was made in the UK. I took a ticket stub to an exhibit in the British Library.

I exchanged a New York Peppermint Patty for a bandaid.

I exchanged a toy wooden train for a quilt maker’s business card.

Took $$ left golf tee.

Fortune cookie > took a quarter.

Vending machine toy > took old light bulb.

Took Christmas stickers and left a mini flower vase.

Left child’s gold elastic bracelet.

Left envelope called “Wendy”. Took fortune cookie.

Left chopsticks – took mood beads.

Left “A Friendly Gift for You.” Took “Dumb Shit Makes Money” pin. From the positive to the sarcastic.

Took a dried rose and gave a compass because it’s time for a compass in the mutating collection. I don’t know where it came from, I must have found it and clipped it in my bag and as I’ve had a clear out of said bag, it’s something to give.

Took a compass for a grandchild who made an exchange at the Small Publisher’s Fair. I gave two art pens (which I bought from a friend who was moving studio). Art pens are designed to have a short life to make the manufacturers more money. To frustrate them, other uses for old pens need to be found – like scoring paper or tracing through carbon paper to transfer an image. So lots of life is left in an art pen deemed to be useless.

I swapped Berol for a fella.

I have swapped a little yellow frog rubber for some pretty wool for my friend who is a textile artist.

I have swapped a 10 year old Viennese tram ticket which has lived in my handbag for images of a 1962 book of matches. This justifies my keeping such detritus for so long!

I have taken jam pot labels and left a blue thimble and a label (brown)

I have exchanged a bead, the twin to one I used in a recent book, for a stone from Dunwich beach with several faces, thankyou.

I have put in a bag of marbles from a book arts day. I chose to take nothing out – except my memories of a great day!

MORE EXCHANGES that took place at The Small Publisher's Fair, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square (aka the 'Purple Car Chain', and several other chains without photos):
I have exchanged my house measurements for a purple plastic car. 

I gave a visual teaching aid and took some specifications for a Victorian terrace in London.    

I gave a handbag hook the has stayed unused in my handbag. I bought it in Wales. I have taken a visual aid for teaching which I think I will find more useful!   

I took a handbag hook and I left a notebook I bring along from China.

I exchanged a hair pin for a Chinese notebook with Chinese writing inside. 

AND…. A lot more exchanges, without photos:


I have exchanged a packet of wildflower seed for a history matters badge

I am giving a marble I carry around in my bag for emergency situations with my son when he’s in desperate need toplay! I took some wild flower seed

I exchanged the marble for a pencil sharpener (pink and glittery)

I exchanged my bingo token for a pink pencil sharpener!

Given one piece of my first missed silverprint photograph – exchanged with a Martin’s bingo.

I have given one of my artist’s books  - a kit for building a 3D language object in exchange for a print that will be a beautiful book mark.

I took a book of poetry and left a picture of my ex I lost my V to. Ellen

I gave a ring I found on Garratt Lane. In exchange I have a photo a girl called Ellen hates so much. I will love it…

I gave a lipstick in exchange for a ring. The lipstick was very dear to me as a momento of my friend’s wedding, but I’ll never wear the colour again.

I gave my business card offering a discount on a healing or meditation in exchange for a lipstick


I have exchanged my keyring for a gold button

I am taking the Moomin keyring. I have left a tortoiseshell hair pin which belonged to my friend’s mother.

Given my cherry chap stick and I have taken hair grip


I have exchanged 2 Waitrose coins received at work for an Irish coin. Kirsty

I gave the aspirin I bought when I meant to buy ibuprofen – took the Waitrose tokens


I have exchanged a red bead for a broken pen chewed by my daughter. Helen


I exchanged a portion of money particles as exemplary of the imaginary economy for paper pieces, the beginning of something

I exchanged a series of handbag memories for some shredded US dollars

I have given one of my artist’s books, a documentation of a performance when i inscribed my past onto London pavements in exchange for the contents of a handbag including lots of lovely messages

I took Hazel McMichal’s “Pavement”. It looks fantastic and I can’t wait to show it off to my husband. I left my first attempt at InDesign for which I had a class today

I gave my pocket magnifier in exchange for Ariane’s fist design attempt

I exchanged a used ticket for an exhibition at the British Museum for a magnifier

Exchanged a postcard for an exhibition ticket from the British Museum


I have given my defunct gym membership card and taken a small woven wicker ball

I gave my foam filled shower gel bottle and got a health and leisure club card.


Today at the bottom of my bag I found a new 2ml syringe. It’s fresh from the vet and very useful. Its exchange is with the three black hooks – notions.

I have an old chip from the last day of my freshers, kept it for a friend for later on to bet with. Never took it back so however much this is worth, has been sitting in my purse. Good luck. I took the syringe for my ink.

I took a token (chip) and left a ticket from ”The Genius of Illumination” at British Library


I gave a video-poem DVD and took part of a pair of Readyspex glasses

I gave my black merker pen for Jennie Cole’s ‘a hidden sale’

I gave a, white, plain, useful plastic bag which I carefully folded to put inanything I collected today. I am so wanting to stop collecting, accumulating. You may need this bag. I took the big marker pen with thanks andjoy at the message.

MORE EXCHANGES that took place at The Small Publisher's Fair, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square (aka the 'shell lips exchange'):
I have exchanged a recommendation for a lovely film for a piece of sea shell that resembles slightly unnerving lips.

I have given my own piece of work ‘Birdsong and Harlequins’ in return for a recommendation of a film.

I have given a sixpence (1957). This has been my lucky coin for a long time. I wish the receiver lots of luck. In exchange for work from the last exchange.

I gave a free Tony Bennett itunes download and I took a lucky 1957 six pence, I need luck! - Sila

I left 3 travelcards that I have used over the last month. They had a total value of£21.90. Now they are worthless!! Tooks an itunes download.

I took three ”useless” travelcards in exchange for a small pink pencil from the Affordable Art Fair.

I left a green pen and I took a pink pencil... I think it could be a great promise.

“There’s a lot of rubbish in my handbag” yet I swapped my favourite essence, a few drops left in the bottle, for a green pen from Italy.

I swapped some stamps for lavender.

Swapped a little package (for collage) for one with stamps - look forward to following its journey.

Before (above) and After (below) photos of the exchange table. Click to enlarge.
I gave a candy for a level ring and a yellow bulb; now I owe another object. – Kyle Ripp

I gave a 10 PAISE (fraction of a rupee) which is inscribed with the words “food and shelter for all”. I took a “big league” baseball card that smells like chewing gum. – Felise Luchansky

I gave an old drain plug with a ring attached in exchange for a coin… Will be back to look at other coins. - Maya M. Krasken

Back again with 6 objects: a soap tray, a plastic flower, a wooden pencil, a piece of charcoal, an empty paper towel roll (only the cardboard) and a cap to a paint tube. In exchange for a coin, some metallic paint, and an Obama Hope pin. – Maya Krasken



Gave seashell. Took thumbdrive. – A. W.

gave a kiss for cats.

gave a bunch of kisses for 1 great british pound

I gave a tampon in exchange for facial cleanser. – Julie

Gave a slide of my work for an old soapdish.

Exchanged a DCCA membership card, for a DCCA exhibition postcard.

Gave some gummies for some toothpicks

My business card for Aunt Margie's Spinach Salad recipe. I'm a serious cook. 

A dum dum for a gummie.

A special screw for my prosthetic leg, for a toothpick.

Gave a bandaid that's perfectly usable even though the packaging's come off, in exchange for a piece of metal something, that I am going to paint on.

All I had in my pocket was a dollar. I gave a dollar. I’m hungry… I took an apple. Mmm – juicy.  – Zing Nafzinger

Gave Marlboro box top and Altoids tin top. Took nail polish (and painted my nails in your studio). – Molly Hornsby

Trash. and Trash. - Anonymous

These unphotographed exchanges, can be found in the before and after shots. Some unrecorded ones (like the $10 bill for instance - who gave it, and where'd it go?) are lost. - Emily A.

I’ve exchanged a ribbon for a peg. 

Check ribbon taken. Hat elastic given

I took the hat elastic which I plan to wear as a bracelet...(what is hat elastic? I don’t wear hats). I left the key to my stolen bike and hope the person who takes the key will find my bike and it will be a gift instead of stolen goods x

I gave a plaster – a special long plaster for finger injuries as I have a cut finger making books for the Small Publisher’s Fair! I took a key to a stolen bike. 

I like see through things, seeing through layers. I gave a useful plastic bag. It made me think of the Winnie the Pooh book when Piglet and Pooh take presents to Eyore, a balloon which bursts and a pot of honey which gets eaten. 

I have taken a plaster which I shall put on my sore finger straight away.

A CHAIN OF EXCHANGES that took place at The Small Publisher's Fair, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square:
1. I exchanged my ‘Hello Kitty’ key ring (bought from a vending machine) for a small rubber duck. Rachel

2. I exchanged a sweet with a hallo kitty key ring!

3. I took the starburst sweet and swapped it for a one-eyed robin. Sarah

4. I took a robin (one eyed variety) which I’ll give to my friend James who’s distorted some bird sounds. I gave a poetry book based on word leaves.

5. I gave my favourite windup penguin and took Zara’s giraffe word leaves artist book.

6. I’ve taken a one legged penguin in exchange for 50p

7. I gave a winning scratchcard worth £1 in exchange for 50p piece

8. I exchanged some particles of money portions for an unclaimed lottery ticket

9. I swapped a bead for shredded money it’s all worth something


Come back soon to see further exchanges made at the Small Publisher's Fair

took one key… gave squeezy light that i use all the time.
took pink bunnies, gave a band-aid that's been in my wallet for over a year, and not needed for over 500 miles of trail hiked.

    The Exchanges

    A catalog of what has been exchanged, and what the exchanger described giving, and getting. Track your object, and update its status in the comments here.


    December 2011
    November 2011