Scott Rutherford – Modern Nefs

I have created a series of ships that serve both as sculpture and functional service sets for food and beverages. These pieces are modeled after historical and modern vessels from throughout the world. The ships hull and super structures are composed of functional pots, cups and dishes stacked to recreate the profile of a particular vessel. The food or beverage to be served on the ship matches culturally with the nationality of the boat, i.e. a Japanese freighter serves sushi or the USS Texas battleship serves barbecue. This idea of functional/sculptural vessels comes from the medieval northern European tradition of the Nef. A Nef was a sailing vessel with wheels made by silversmiths. The ship was placed at the head of the table during royal banquets. Inside the ship was the royal cutlery, salt and rare spices. This vessel served as a condiment holder and was rolled around the banquet table so guest could season their food. My idea was to recreate this tradition in ceramic using modern ships and contemporary world cuisine as the inspirational basis for modern Nefs.