Ramekin is thought to come from a Dutch word for "toast" or the German for "little cream."




Ramequin, Ramekin dish.


(ramə kin)[RAM-ih-kihn]ræməkin


English Noun




A type of dish




French Ramequin from Low German ramken, diminutive of cream, circa 1706. middle Dutch rammeken (cheese dish) dialect variant of rom (cream), similar to old English ream and German rahm. Ancient French cookbooks refer to ramekins as being garnished fried bread.


1. A food mixture, (casserole) specifically a preparation of cheese, especially with breadcrumbs and/or eggs or unsweetened pastry baked on a mould or shell.

2. With a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 oz), it is a small fireproof glass or earthenware individual dish similar in size and shape to a cup, or mould used for cooking or baking and serving sweet or savoury foods.

3. Formerly the name given to toasted cheese; now tarts filled with cream cheese.

4. A young child usually between the ages of 3 months and 11 years exhibiting a compulsion to force or "ram" their head into various objects and structures.

These days, a ramekin is generally regarded as a small single serve heatproof serving bowl used in the preparation or serving of various food dishes, designed to be put into hot ovens and to withstand high temperatures. They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface. Ramekins have more lately been standardized to a size with a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 ounce) and are now used for serving a variety of sweet and savoury foods, both entrée and desert.

They are also an attractive addition to the table for serving nuts,dips and other snacks. Because they are designed to hold a serving for just one person, they are usually sold in sets of four, six, or eight. Ramekins now are solid white, round, with a fluted texture covering the outside, and a small lip. Please bear in mind that whatever you ask for them on Internet auction sites, someone is still getting the same thing in an op shop for peanuts.

However, there are hundreds of decorative ramekins that came in a variety of shapes and sizes. They came in countless colours and finishes and many were made by our leading artists and ceramicists. My collection has ramekins with One handle only, fixed to the body at one point only. If it has no handle, it is a bowl. If it has two, it is a casserole dish. But the glory day of the Australian Studio Art ramekin is well and truly over. See some here, ask questions or leave answers.

P.S. Remember, just as real men don't eat quiche, real ramekins don't have lids or two handles. Also remember, two handles makes it a casserole dish. Also, please note If it aint got a handle, it's just a bowl.

P.P.S. To all you cretins who advertise your ramekins by associating them with "Eames" or "Eames Era". Get your hand off it, you are not kidding anyone. The Eames people have told me that they never made ramekins.

P.P.P.s To all the illiterates out there in cyberspace, just as there is no "I" in team, there is no "G" in Ramekin. I am the Rameking, they are ramekins.

If you have a set of Grandma's ramekins at the back of a kitchen cupboard, have a look through the site, maybe you will identify them. Thank-you for looking.

There are many of you out there that have knowledge of Australian pottery. Please let me know if you have anything that I can add to the notes. It is important to get the information recorded. You probably know something that nobody else does.

Please note that while your comments are most welcome, any that contain a link to another site will no longer be published.


Saturday, July 4, 2009


Hans Wright
Incised “Hanstan Studio” to base
Moulded slipware
White matte moulded slipware exterior Plain circular bowl tapering to flat circular base.  Rounded lip.  Spurmarks on base.  Hand painted interior in green to simulate wheel throwing.  Dimpled thumb shaped tab handle
Good.  Exterior slip discoloured with age and use.
No number
Production Date
Width at rim
Width at Base
Length (with handle)
23 October 2013
Rameking Reference Number
HAN 001-004

Congratulations! You have found the only place in the world where you will find anything much about this pottery. Homewares makers don't rate the same column inches as the trendier art potters.

Not rare, not studio (although that is what they called it) and definitely not expensive. If you see them at an inflated price, go to the nearest op shop and pick up the same thing for a couple of bucks. Hanstan were mostly made on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula,in the 1960s to the early 90s.  I have been told that their pottery was located at Mornington in the Industrial area.  Starting in 1962, most of their considerable output was domestic or kitchenware so they don't appear on the radar of most of the trendy wanker collectors. Have a look in any op shop and there is sure to be at least one piece.  There are several patterns of ramekins, but only one shape.    Later, they produced a lustre ware version under the "Colourware" brand.

These ramekins are stoneware and have what is referred to as an "avocado" or speckled texture, as a result of the glaze being sprayed onto the clay. They appear to be salt glazed, one set having a burnt orange centre, the other set, off white. A third set has contrasting incised vertical strping similar to the David and Hermia Boyd ramekins, although there are much hevier and thicker walled.  Hanstan output was originally mostly marked with a large incised signature "Hanstan" to the base. Other later works had either a black stamp or a black and gold sticker. These were used after Hanstan moved from hand painting to transfer designs.

Hanstan refers to Hans Wright and Stan Burrage. The partnership apparently didn’t last long as I was told the two had a falling out in the early sixties with Hans and Mrs Wright continuing the pottery.

Hans Earle Wright was a salesman turned potter turned archer. He was born in the mid 1930s and completed an art course at the Melbourne Technical College, now RMIT. He started out helping a fellow student make jewellery. He married Patricia, a nurse and then moved from Sandringham to Mount Eliza.

Hans had more than one string to his bow, being Australia's best archer, he won about fifteen Australian Championships. Hans would train archers in the factory, believing that the noise of the pottery would make the archers less likely to be distracted in competition. Good for the archers but somewhat off putting for the potters. There is no record of anyone being hit by an arrow. I wonder what the Health and Safety people today would make of this. Mrs Wright would manage the pottery when Hans went off to the many archery competitions he took part in.

For two years from age 19 to 21 well known former graffiti artist Arjuna Watson worked at Hanstan Pottery Studio, hand-painting floral Christopher Vine designs. (Afterwards he makes himself a promise: “I will never paint an iris again”.) Christopher vine would come to the pottery whenever he came up with new lines. Thanks AJ for the info. If anyone has more information about this pottery, I would be pleased to hear from you. I know you are still out there Hans.

The Stan was Stanley Leonard Scud Burrage who was born in Robinvale Victoria on the 7th of December 1935 and was christened at Traralgon, Victoria one year later. Like Hans, he originally worked in sales but together they began Hanstan pottery at his parents, George and Elsie (Weymouth) Burrage’ home and poultry farm on Springvale road, Springvale, Victoria in 1962. 

The partnership dissolved in 1964 and Hans then continued the business in Mornington,  Stan and wife Helen went overseas for two years then they moved to the bayside suburb of Mentone, where they ran a hardware shop in Hampton for two years. then back to Vinifera near Swan Hill to be an Orchardist betweenn 1972 to 75.  Later, in the early 1980s, Stan worked as a contractor in Dingley, Victoria.  Stan died too young at the age of 52 in Montrose Victoria on the 1st of March 1987

The Wrights lived in Mount Eliza and worked in the neighbouring town of Mornington. Hans is reputed to have been a bit of a workaholic. The pottery was run as a fully commercial operation, producing mainly domestic wares.  Staff served a form of "apprenticeship" doing routine process work before graduating to more involved work. Starting in the sanding booth, cleaning up the bodies from the moulds before moving on to glazing, then if you were good enough, or had lasted the distance, decorating.

A big thank-you to Stan’s wife and daughter for some of the information and corrections. Sorry for the mix up over the dates.  Various family history sites have Stans death as being 1/3/87.  The American way of doing them means that it is the 3rd of January whilst the rest of the world says the 1st of March.  That is why you should always spell out the month.  If any of the workers from Mornington are out there, please let me know your story.  (That means you Nola.)  


  1. I have Stan Burrell recorded in my database, but I got this from an eBay listing so it may be incorrect. There's a David Jones ad in the Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday, April 29, 1984, p. 41 for "Hanstan black and white pottery canisters. Decorative or practical, with big cork stoppers. Choose one or a set for Mum's benchtop storage. Six sizes from $9.95 to $21.95 (or it could be $31.95 - hard to read). Not ramekins, but gives an idea of retail prices of the time. I accessed the SMH archive through SLNSW so I can't give a URL. SLV also has a subscription to it. Can't wait for a Melbourne newspaper from this time to be available online.

  2. That explains the weird floral hanstan I saw on ebay last night- could not imagine they were by the same maker

  3. I have a little vase and a large matching pot/ vase, Orange blue and apricot design.Looks hand painted but could be stencil. I bought them at a garage sale at least ten years ago and don't know anything else. They both have the gold Hanstan mad in australia stickers. I was just about to give them to a friend when I noticed the stickers and thought I would google - cant find anything like it?

  4. Hi
    I am Stan Burrage's daughter. (It's Burrage, not Burridge or Burrell). Lovely to see someone cares about Dad's pottery! I don't know the full history of the studio, and dad died in 1987. Mum will be able to fill in some of the gaps, so I'm sending her a link to your page.
    Delia Burrage

  5. It is wonderful to hear from you Delia. So much of our industrial history is being lost and I hope to record just this little corner. I will look forward to hearing from your mother. These stories deserve to be told.

  6. Hanstan Pottery began at Stan Burrage's parent's home and poultry farm in Springvale Road, Springvale, Vic. When the partnership was dissolved (C. 1964), Hans continued the business in Mornington. Stanley Leonard Burrage was born in Robinvale on 7/12/1935 and died in Montrose 1/3/1987.
    Helen Burrage - Delia's mum.

  7. A couple of errors have crept into the blub. The Hanstan partnership was dissolved in 1964. Stan and Helen went overseas for 2 years, then they bought a Hardware Store in Hampton. After that they bought a farm in Vinifera near Swan Hill. Stan did not return to Robinvale but to Vinifera where he was a grape grower 1972-1975 Stan died 1/3/1987.
    Helen Burrage.

  8. Thanks from the Identifying Australian Pottery group for compiling this information about Hanstan. Another snippet of information I have in my database is that Hanstan was on wedding lists in the 1970s! I really like the saltglaze finish.

  9. I was just showing this site to my mum in Suffolk, England, when we were reminiscing about our shop in Melbourne. We lived in Australia where mum and dad had a gift shop in Beaumaris at the Concourse. They used to sell Hanstan pottery in the shop and became friends with Hans. My brother was encouraged by Hans to take up archery. Mum used to sell his pottery which was very
    popular in the early 60's, and she still has some now at her home. We remember going to his factory and he gave me a tea set of seconds pottery. good times....Angie Dearmer and Sylvia Humphries

  10. My daughter collects Hanstan Pottery - is there any lists available of the number of different pieces that may have been produced

  11. As far as I am aware, there is no list available. You have two options; one, contact "Australian Pottery at Bemboka", they currently have a dislplay of Hanstan in their gallery and may be able to help. Option two is to contact Hans Wright, (The Hans in Hanstan). I believe that he is still living in Mt Eliza. Hanstan looks good in a mass display, doesn't it?

  12. I've started collecting Hanstan, they're just gorgeous. I've got a bit of a list up on my blog of the pieces I do have, and pieces I don't have that I am aware of: http://omlair.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/my-collection-hanstan-pottery.html

  13. I worked there for 5+ years from the late 80's (with Arjuna) as a Slip Caster, I learned a lot from Hans and the Team.

  14. i use to go to the studio after school in Mornington as my mum worked there for many years. Mum also use to go away to the Archery competitions as well her name is Beth Simpson.

  15. Thanks for the comment. Does youy mum have anything to add to the story? Do you know their exact address?