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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, June 26, 2010

Bendigo Pottery

G Boyd / Ray Cook / Bendigo Pottery
Bendigo Pottery
No Marks
Mould formed ramekin with deep green (Cottage Green was a Ray Cook colour)exterior and interior. Larger foot than Boyd and Cook ramekins.
Production Date
Length (with handle)
225 gm
250 ml
Oakleigh Sunday Market 27th June 2010.
Rameking Reference Number
BEN 001

This ramekin, although unmarked was made by Bendigo Pottery in the early 1970s. They had bought out Ray Cook (Raynham) in 1971 and acquired this pattern that Ray had purchased from Guy Boyd in 1965. The shape and interior have the typical speckled pattern of the later Boyd and Raynham ramekins combined with the typical dark green exterior of the Bendigo Pottery ramekins of the 1970s. It appears that this is the pattern most copied by some Japanese makers.

Bendigo Pottery is Australia's oldest working pottery, with its large, distinctive beehive kilns, is located on the Midland Highway 6 km north of the city at Epsom. The pottery, which was established in 1858, is now open to the public. The Bendigo Pottery was started by George Duncan Guthrie, a Scot who was an apprentice potter by the age of 12. He travelled to Australia in 1849 and while visiting his father who was living in Bendigo, he noticed the fine white clay of the district. Returning in 1858 he founded his first pottery on Bendigo Creek at Epsom. 'Here is the stuff to make pots with!' he cried as he stumbled upon a clay deposit perfectly suited to the production of ceramics.

Guthrie transformed this lucky find into a business that grew to rival the great Staffordshire potteries of nineteenth century England. However, the lack of transport infrastructure restricted distribution and Guthrie sold the pottery to return to prospecting. When a rail line to Melbourne was established, he bought the land at Epsom and reopened his business, selling unglazed terracotta pots and salt-glazed stoneware such as bottles and jars.

George sold on the business in 1882, but continued to work there until 1883 when he retired. The business declined after his departure and he returned as managing director. By 1888 11 kilns were in operation and the site employed 130 people (30 just for cutting wood for fuel). George died in 1909. By 1903 Bendigo Pottery had expanded well beyond its humble beginnings and was filling a large number of orders across Australia. The success of the enterprise had much to do with Guthrie's fastidious management style and his enthusiasm for all aspects of the business.

The fortunes of the Pottery varied in subsequent years. On the down side there was a destructive fire in 1900, a flood in 1928 (which caused two hot kilns to explode), the Great Depression of the 1930s and another fire in 1941. Toby jugs decorated with war figures during World War I, and the demand for mugs, bowls, dishes and bottles for troops in World War II helped keep the business afloat.

Langley Ware became the most popular range produced by the pottery. Launched in 1915, and continued well into the 1930s, these brown-coloured items were widely used in homes and cafes throughout Australia. Examples of Langley ware were exhibited at the 1925 British Empire Exhibition in Wembley, London. They received a bronze medal and certificate of merit.

As the economy improved after the Great Depression, Bendigo Pottery returned to the production of fundamentally decorative items with a range of 'art pottery' known as Waverley ware. The line reflected Art Deco fashions and was characterized by brightly coloured glazes. Such items were thrown or created by 'slip casting', a mode of production that suited Art Deco motifs with their emphasis on curves, lines and angles.

By 1949 the fortunes of Bendigo Pottery were in decline. The business struggled to survive as cheap ceramics from overseas flooded the market and competition from plastics meant many products became obsolete. Bill Derham began his association with Bendigo Pottery in 1968, and under his leadership the business was soon flourishing again. Derham's plan for expansion, which included an ambitious publicity and marketing campaign, led to renewed interest in the pottery and its products. The conveyor that moves the pottery around the Bendigo Pottery today is reputed to have come from the old Diana Pottery after it closed in yhe mid 1970s.

Bill Derham led a revival in the company’s fortunes in the 1970s and the pottery has since regained its reputation for excellence and innovation. It became a tourism complex in 1971. Today domestic pottery is made in the historic kilns, which are fired on wood and coal. The site offers a total tourist experience with free clay play for kids, a potter's workshop, lessons in creating a clay pot on a wheel, an Interpretive Museum (including a theatrette inside a restored kiln), a sales gallery and cafe. The four-acre complex includes five rare and historic bottle kilns from 1868, an 1880s two-storey brick stable block, striking beehive kilns, rectangular kilns, related red-brick chimney stacks and a timber crane jib.

The 1970s revival continues today under the direction of Rod and Sally Thomson. In recent times Bendigo Pottery has launched an interpretive museum and website. The business has been operating for 150 years, a milestone that cements its reputation as one of Australia's most distinctive and dynamic potteries. The National Museum acquired the Bendigo Pottery collection from Bill and Jeanette Derham. In 2008 the Museum developed and hosted a display in its Hall to mark Bendigo Pottery's 150th anniversary.

These hand made ramekins were made by David Crothers, a potter at Bendigo.  He worked there from April 1973 until January 1974.  No further information about him is available.  At the time, this style of colonial revival pottery was popular, becoming more chunky as the 80s hove into view.