• the original jar of fat.

    I wanted to offer a jar of fat as a prize, to see how many people would respond.

  • New fat jar

    with the success of the first fat jar, I decided to swap up from New jar of fat with as many different people, creating art and friendships along the way.

  • six hair bricks

    As the project evolves the items swapped will be either used in an arty way or swapped on for other unusual items.

I was sick of all the fake Facebook competitions-so I decided to have one of my own!

I kept seeing competitions on Facebook such as 'like and share this and win a house', 'like and share this and win a car' etc etc. I knew a load of people on facebook, and I had never seen anyone win either a house or a car. I then decided to hold my own 'competition', I would give away the weirdest thing possible to one lucky winner. I looked around the house for something random but small enough to be posted should it needed to. After a long hard search I found a jar of fat.....

the original jar of fat won by Chris Pallant

Every story starts at the beginning-and I began with a jar of fat.

It all started with a jar of fat!

About 12 months ago I held a competition on Facebook for a bit of a laugh, where one lucky winner would win a full jar of fat collected from my fry ups over the past few months. With some excitement and a fair bit of controvercy, forty two names were put into a hat and one lucky winner was chosen at random and received their coverted prize. Chris Pallant the lucky winner received his prize, but the excitement and 'banter' amongst the losers still carried on, I realised that the jar of fat brought joy into peoples lives, and that the event created such a buzz that people got excited simply by taking part. I decided to eat even more fried food and make another fat jar as soon as I could!

swop my fat

the new fat jar offered on facebook

A few short weeks later I had more fat!!

Christmas helped this along with a turkey fit for a family of 20 wich left my fat jar overflowing!

This tme around I bought a pretty jar to dress it up in and advertised it again on Facebook-I even made a page for it-SWOP MY FAT.

(I realised afterward I had spelt Swap as Swop-but for this page I kept it that way...schoolboy error)!!

This is how  I advertised the jar....

"I have another jar of fat up for grabs. I usually collect my drippings in a Homepride jar, but for the sake of this experiment I have investied in a pretty 'Kilner' jar, reheated the fat and filled it to the brim for one of you lucky, lucky people! The fat now sits proudly in it's new jar, two toned (thick cream on top with lovely liquid underneath-like a pint of Guinness)! And one of you could own it! All you have to do is offer me the weirdest thing you have to swop, and if I chose your item, we will 'swop the fat'! This is a limited offer though-the fat will be on offer for 7 days and 7 days only, so whoever offers me the strangest item before 22.55 on Friday 13th January 2017 will get to own the fat! (the lucky winner will be announced the following Saturday with pictures to follow. So have a rummage through your unwanted junk, in your sheds, cellars, and attics, and get offering-best of luck!"

I thought it important to put a deadline up so people acted right away!

With 5 minutes to go I had 26 offerrs of trade in!

like eBay most offers came in with five minutes of the competition ending!

On the seventh day the competition ended with 26 firm offers for the fat jar- they were..

1. the remnants from a Heroes tub.
2. a cracked free range egg.
3. A mug with a teddy cosy on the top.
4. A set of leather chaps.
5. An empty box of Elizabeth Shaw chocolates.
6. Two cockerels.
7. A signed Rick Astley CD.
8. A bag of tumble dryer fluff.
9. A 2015 5p piece.
10. A sink.
11. A fish tank and 4 fish.
12. 3 car tyres and wheels.
13. Two bus tickets.
14. A pair of old socks.
15. A pair of old undies.
16. A shirt worn on the BBC
17. A length of brand new copper pipe.
18. An anti static gun.
19. A frozen pouch of human breast milk.
20. A rat trap.
21. Two photos of a Michael Jackson doll.
22. A bag of hair.
23. A human tooth.
24. A green plastic tree,
25. A piece of stretchy string.
26. A bag of hedgehog poo.

the fat jar was eventually swapped with Luke the Barber

After a fun filled seven days of swap offers on the Facebook Page, from a pouch of breast milk, to some hedgehog poo, I decided to swap the jar of fat with Luke Williams a local Barber from Pwllheli- he was very, very excited!

The hair was separated into jars, and I had a haircut too!

I divided part of the hair I swapped with Luke into old coffee jars for safekeeping, I then had a haircut and put that into a separate jar.

The famous experimental artist Joseph Beuys worked with fat, felt, and all kinds of other unusual materials, as my project had started with fat, and progressed on to hair-I decided to make something arty out of the hair and also include a bit of mine in whatever I made too, so a little bit of me would always live on in the work.

The 50p loaf tin!

the tin bought from a charity shop for 50p

A couple of weeks went by and I still hadn't figured out what to do with my bag of hair, a serendipitous find in a charity shop gave me inspiration. I decided that because the jar of fat had been swapped for the hair, that anything I made from here on in, would have to be bartered or made as cheaply as possible.

I wanted my project to exist outside the perameters of money. That any swap I made be made not on value but on how 'fun' the item to be swapped was. I walked into a charity shop and found a lovely old bread tin for 50p, and a flash of inspiration came over me, I would make a limited number of 'hair bricks', bricks out of concrete and hair, and they would be used as 'currency' to swap on for other items.

Ask and you shall be given!

I know nothing about bricks, I mean I know they are rectangular, builders use them, but as to how they are my knowledge is very limited. I decided that six bricks would be made, simply because four, five , or even seven hair bricks doesn't have the same ring to it as 'six hair bricks'! Six hair bricks sounds foreign, when spoken quickly it has an air of German authority to it.

The problem was, I didn't know how to make a brick, or what it entailed. So I put a shout out on Facebook again.

'Could anyone advise me on how to make bricks'?

Within a few hours my builder mate Huw Lloyd from Llyn Joinery told me he would not only show me how to make bricks, he would give me all the materials needed. I told him I'd take his kind offer up, but I would have to find something for him to swap with.

The materials are traded!

Huw Lloyd with unicycle and adventure book!

Huw Lloyd is annoyingly fit and handsome for his age, partly because he's a builder (which is an extremely streneous job to start off with), and partly because in his spare time, he walks, hikes, and races down steep mountains on one of his many mountain bikes.

Huw is an all round good guy, within minutes of me turning up to his yard, he had given me the secret formula for brickmaking, I had sand and cement loaded into the boot of my car and he had even given me a special 'paddle' to attach on the end of my electric drill to mix with.

Huw did this out of the kindess of his heart, he wasnt looking for 'payment' and such, but I had an unwritten rule in my head that I HAD to swap something I no longer wanted with him for his time, knowledge , and materials.

First of all I gave him a copy of 100 unforgettable places to see in the UK, being an adventurous type of guy he was over the moon.But on top of this I then produced a unicycle out of my car, it was something I had bought a few years back, used once, fell off and it had been down my cellar ever since.

Huw was ecstatic, as he'd never tried to ride one before. This was what I wanted, we were both winners and no money had been exchanged, I had materials and the knowledge how to make bricks, Huw now knew where the best places to go in the UK for adventure...and he now had a unicycle to get there on-win win!

A sign of the times!

Sign swapped with Regency Signs and Blinds of Caernarfon.

I decided to make each of the 'six hair bricks' in Public, and to tell people about the project by showing them what I was making and to hand out leaflets.

Every good project starts with a sign, and I didn't have one!

I had a pasting table my jars of hair, my tin, sand, and cement, but nothing to make my project stand out-nothing to attract people to my stall.

I approached Regency blinds of Caernarfon and they agreed to make me a banner sign in exchange for some weightlifing books and a brand new abs training belt (unwanted gift).

The sign was made within days-we were officially in business-(albeit a business that was dead against the medium of cold hard cash).

The performance stall is ready to go!

all systems go at the performance stall.

It was a warm summers Sunday morning when I opened up my front door onto the High street in Pwllheli for my first 'performance'.

I felt a little bit of trepidation as I set up the pasting table, put my new banner over it and slowly set up stall.

I put 'Hugo' and 'Wilson' either side of the table and carefully measured out my mix.

People passed by and starred in bewilderment, a few people even said hello.

Cars slowed down and a couple of people even shouted obscenities. I had posted on Facebook that I was to start a brickmaking performance at a certain time-and some people did come over to watch.

I handed out leaflets in between layering cement and hair alternatively into the buttered bread tin, like a lasagne.

Within twenty minutes, the first brick was made and I was tidying up and packing everything away for next weeks performance, puzzled people walked away with leaflets, and I left 'Hair brick' number 1 to harden.

 

Six performances were held over six consecutive weeks!

Six hair bricks were made in full view of the public over six weeks!

With each Hair Brick a certificate had to be made!

I made certificates out of discarded pages of my Phd, I tore up the pages and made fresh paper on which I made a certificate of authenticity for each brick-each certificate came with my signatue and a strand of my hair!

The bricks went on a short tour of North Wales before being offered out!

When all six bricks were finished, hardened and painted. I decided to take them on a short tour of North Wales just for the hell of it.

The time was right to begin swapping!

Once the bricks were back from their short tour, it was now time to start swapping them with the public for their unwanted items. The rules were one brick per person, the weirdest swap offer at the end of the week would take the brick, the monetary value of the offer wouldn't neccesarily determine winning a brick. (it was more about the fun value rather than what items cost).

A Facebook page was made 'Six Hair Bricks' and the first brick was put up for swap, after seven days worth of fabulous offers of all kinds a winner was announced!