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




Name

Ramekin

Variant

Ramequin, Ramekin dish.

Pronounced

(ramə kin)[RAM-ih-kihn]ræməkin

Function

English Noun

Plural

Ramekins

Hypernym

A type of dish

Purpose

Cooking

Etymology

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.


Meaning

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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Warrandyte Pottery

Reg Preston showing pottery at Warrandyte.  Photo copyright Commonwealth Government.

Designer
Warrandyte Pottery
Maker
Reg Preston
Marks
Warrandyte Pottery stamped in black ink to base
Description
Plain white ceramic bowl dipped in multi coloured monochrome colours to bowl. Perforated white handle.
Number
Production Date
Width
110mm 4.1/2”
Depth
47mm 1.7/8”
Length (with handle)
170mm 6.11/16”
Weight
165gm 6oz
Volume
250ml
Acquisition
Antique Bazaar, Prahran, Victoria

Reg Preston was born in Sydney, New South Wales in 1917. He travelled to England in 1938 and studied sculpture at the Westminster school of Art in London. On his return to Australia he spent three months in 1944 working at the Melbourne Technical College with John Barnard Knight and Klytie Pate. He was also working at Cooper and Cooke’s Porcelain factory at 774 Glenhuntly Road, Caulfield, Victoria in 1945-46. In 1947 he established a pottery studio at Warrandyte. He produced a range of domestic wares like these ramekins. In 1958, Preston and his wife set up the Potters’ Cottage at Warrandyte, Victoria. During the 1960s Preston and Dunn produced a line using the name “Ceres”. Reg died in Wonthaggi, Victoria on the 14th June 2000.

Slip glazed plain light-weight ramekins, stamped "Warrandyte Pottery" to base. The style is that of Reg Preston, one of the founding members of “Potters Cottage”. The pottery group was started up after a visit from Allan Lowe in 1958. Potters worked from Walsh’s Old Bakery and dug their own clay from the Kangaroo Ground Quarries. While some of the potters at the Potters Cottage made slip-cast wares their major stoneware works were in time collected by galleries lending the role of the craft potter a far greater significance than that of the designers, potters and decorators that worked at mainstream potteries. The making and sale of these ramekins in volume may have been done simply as a fund raising activity.
The five founding members from 1958 were Reg Preston, Phyllis Dunn, Artec Halpern, Gus McLaren and Charles Wilton; three other members joining in 1961 were Sylvia Halpern, Elsa Ardern and Kate Janeba. The only founding member who was not a potter was the architect John Hipwell who acted as the group's President.
Potters Cottage was officially opened in 1958 by Dame Mabel Brookes, wife of the Governor of Victoria, Sir Dallas Brookes. It was a small miner’s cottage in Research Road near the Warrandyte Bridge. It was then known as “Moonlight Cottage”, because the gold miner who built it in the 1890s worked in the Caledonia Gold Mine by day, and built his cottage by moonlight. By 1969 the Potters Cottage Co-op had built a restaurant where people were able to have their meals served on and in the pottery that was made by local craftspeople.
The co-operative was established for the purpose of making and selling handmade Australian pottery. The potters produced beautiful, functional studio pottery with attention to shape, decoration and glaze, bringing traditional craft together with modern. Whilst they shared certain principles in their work, the distinctive style and individuality of each artist is strongly evident. Their shared idealistic belief that modern, handmade pottery could enhance the quality of contemporary life was central to their philosophy.
The Co-op built a pottery school where people could learn to make their own pottery.
A group of students from this pottery school went on to form their own co-op, Stonehouse Potters in 1972, which is still flourishing. As well as the significant numbers of potters in the region, the Pottery Expo in Warrandyte each autumn highlights this important artistic tradition

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