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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, February 19, 2011

Guy Boyd / Martin Boyd

Guy Martin a'Beckett Boyd, born at Murrumbeena in 1923 (12 June 1923 – 26 April 1988) was the second son of Merric and Doris Boyd. Guy Boyd's first business venture was a very successful commercial pottery studio. One of the main products was ramekins. You see them everywhere. Most are in matching reverse colours. Just because they are signed "Guy Boyd", people think they are collectable. In the future they probably will be but now they are a dime a dozen. You can usually find at least one in every antique shop. They seem to breed as fast as old metal coat hangers. If there isn't one there today, there will be tomorrow. Legally, they are "Boyd", but remember that it is unlikely that any member of the Boyd family were within several hundred miles of them when they were made. The pale ones at the top (which are genuine Guy Boyd from his Melbourne studio in the mid sixties) have sgraffito (incised) along the sides before glazing, a popular design. They were sold in sets along with the soup tureen. They are 120mm wide and 45 mm deep plus 30mm for the handle. Sadly, the tureens don't survive, but the ramekins do. In the late 1950s, Guy had his works at Crosbie Park Avenue in East Bentleigh After his return from Sydney, Guy opened a shop at 247 Bridge Road Richmond. In the mid 1960s he operated from the Ray Cook premises in Carey Street, East Bentleigh. The similarity of the Boyd and Cook ramekins makes me wonder who influenced who at this time. These have no chips cracks or crazing and have a matt monocolour glaze. In 1965, Guy gave up pottery for a full-time career as a sculptor, and began exhibiting at the Australian galleries. Guy Boyd married Phyllis Nairn with whom he had seven children, some of whom have also gone on to become sculptors, writers and artists. He died in 1988. Please be aware when you see the name on the base. In 1946, while Guy was studying at the East Sydney Technical College, he worked at night with Norma Flegg in her basement pottery in Cremorne. They originally used the name “Guy Boyd” incised on the base, but in 1948, they began using the name “Martin Boyd” after Norma’s husband Leonard joined the company. Guy returned to Victoria in 1950 and the company in Sydney continued to use the name until it ceased production in 1964. His Melbourne pottery operated from 1952.) The Sydney pottery developed their own high quality glazes and at its height, employed up to eighty people. They also used a variety of other names as they produced pottery for department stores and commemorative wares.


  1. Guy Boyd was not influenced by Ray Cook. He sold his pottery to Ray Cook along with the rights to using his designs in 1964. At this time he stopped making pottery and began making sculpture instead. Derry Talvainn (nee Boyd) Guy Boyd's daughter.

  2. Everyone likes to think well of their parents, but in my opinion, Ray Cook had been making this design from the late 1940s. If you are to view the two dispassionately, the difference in design can be seen in the ramekins made by Boyd in Sydney compared to those made by Ray Cook at the time. Essentially the difference between the two styles made in Victoria was the speckled finish used by Boyd that was not continued by Raynham who continued with their standard design. Not only that, but I consider that the quality of manufacture of Raynham was better than those of Boyd. If you are to believe the entry on Boyd by Ford, then you would have to conclude that Ray Cook was using this design decades before Boyd started up in Bentleigh.

  3. I have just found, in my nanna's house, a brand new in box set of six Guy Boyd ramekins!! They are just gorgeous.