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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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


Monday, February 14, 2011

Nixon Pottery

Nixon Pottery, Sydney NSW.
Nixon Pottery 6a Mable Street Hurstville
Incised “Nixon” to unglazed base
Heart shaped thin sided slipware bowl with clear gloss overglaze. One piece moulded handle cast as part of bowl.
Hand painted marine grasses to exterior sides and handle. Stylized fish painted to interior bottom of bowl. One ramekin has a plain exterior with a light blue interior overpainted with a wildflower motif.
Good condition. Very well made No chips or cracks. Some crazing consistent with age to overglaze.
Production Date
Length (with handle)
These notes were modified from the Powerhouse Museum notes.

These slipware ramekins were made in the 1950s and 1960s by the small company, Nixon Pottery 6a Mabel Street Hurstville, Sydney, New South Wales. It was one of dozens of small potteries operating in Sydney after the Second World War. Its main rival, was the Martin Boyd Pottery, the most significant pottery in Sydney at this time and was responsible for wares decorated with Aboriginal-style motifs. These Nixon ramekins feature similar decorations - hand painted in a stylized manner and probably representing Aboriginal motifs.

While some of these domestic wares were made from thrown clay, many were moulded or slipcast and were usually decorated with mix-and-match colours and painted designs. The most popular forms of domestic ware included coffee sets, ramekin sets, dinner sets, and ashtrays and savoury dishes shaped like boomerangs. With restrictions on imports continuing after the war, these items proved immensely popular in Australia and featured in home-living journals, like 'Australian Home Beautiful'. Arising from this trend was an overseas market for Australian wares. It appears that Nixon, like many other makers, did not need to advertize as it sold direct to stores. It was these stores that advertized as required.

They were made by Dallas Raymond Nixon who operated Nixons Art Productions in the early 1950s.  In 1954, he and his wife Betty incorporated as "Jemba Potteries Pty Ltd", a short lived, ill fated venture that closed after less than a year.


  1. Just a typo - I think that should read 6a Mabel St., Hurstville. I don't think there is a Mable St..

  2. Thanks for the correction. I rely on my readers to keep things accurate.