untitled hand painted silk banner

untitled hand painted silk banner

Mary Salome Vandergraft grew up in a small farming community in southern Idaho. One of her earliest memories is of getting her mother's sewing scissors and cutting up a pair of pajamas "because of the way the scissors felt cutting through the cloth." Thus began her love affair with cloth.

Currently a resident of North Carolina, Mary Salome Vandergraft, (formerly Mary Rudesill) lived in Iowa City from 1969-1978. She developed an interest in weaving here, apprenticed at the Weaving Studio and began doing custom work for individuals as well as selling her work in area shops and craft shows.

After a stint in Saudi Arabia, Vandergraft moved to North Carolina, where she teamed up with a clothing designer. Together, they marketed their silk clothing in galleries and specialty boutiques throughout the United States. Their work was sold at The Flying Shuttle in Seattle, the Real Mother Goose in Portland, Oregon, and Studio 40 at the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia, among others. Vandergraft's scarves were featured in an exhibit at the Renwick Museum Gift Shop in Washington, DC.

In 1993, the business partnership was dissolved, and Vandergraft began marketing her own line of hand-dyed silk clothing, accessories and interiors under the name, Salome Silk. She has won numerous awards for her work. She currently lives in Durham, North Carolina, where she has a studio in a renovated tobacco warehouse.

text and image from Iowa Artisans Gallery

This page was first displayed
on October 26, 2005

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