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nit without my daughter

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I have this lovely memory (perhaps not so for my Mam) of sitting in front of the fire as a kid with a huge white sheet draped around me as my mother combed my hair for nits.


When I think about it now I think there's such a lovely intimacy about the whole thing - a one on one experience which reflects such care, tenderness and love which doesn't happen in other relationships. In reality she was probably pulling my hair out while we watched 'Where in the World with Theresa Lowe' or 'Glenroe'.


But anyway, I choose to remember it as me sitting on the floor, wedged between my Mam's knees as she worked through my nitty locks with perhaps a passing thought for the successful career she had relinquished as a hairdresser when I came along. She had two salons in two towns by the age of 23. Her famous refrain when she visits her home place is "I used to do her hair".


So, enough with the background! I made this with my Mam, Pauline, in mind. The project started with me wanting to make a nit comb with that exact phrase on it - but to personalise it and to make it more relevant to my nostalgia I used the text "She used to do my hair". I modelled it up in 3D on Rhino and sent it off for printing. When it returned, it looked too bare and I set about making a box for it to increase the sentimentality of the comb.


It was the box that I really enjoyed making. I drew out a pattern of lice on CAD, printed it on contact paper and used it as a resist for etching. The box was made from gilding metal, so I had to make the tubing from the same for the hinge. Both of those techniques were brand new to me and I loved learning how to do them. The two sides were fly-pressed. For a finishing touch I pierced out one boy-o for the back and soldered him on.


I ended up keeping the 3D printed comb separate and using a very old comb instead. To bring the final chapter to a close I wrapped a few strands of my (now nit free!) hair around the last tooth. I placed it on a tiny pillow that I made to suit the shape of the box

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