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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Martin Boyd / Tom Sanders

Tom Sanders
Martin Boyd Pottery
Incised “TS” “Martin Boyd Australia” under glaze to base
Slipware bowl with balloon sides and circular base and stem handle.  Brown glaze to interior of bowl with brown banding to exterior, excised with a zig zag pattern.

Production Date
Length (with handle)
Camberwell Sunday Market 28 Aug 2011
Rameking Reference Number
MBS 001

In 1946, while Guy Boyd 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 of their ramekins, but in 1948, they began using the name “Martin Boyd” when 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.  They also used a variety of other names as they produced pottery for department stores and commemorative wares.

 This ramekin is incised "Martin Boyd" to the base. Many people can be confused by this and think that Martin was another of the Boyds’, yes he was, a writer, not a potter.  But Guy used Martin as it is actually one his middle names. Why did he choose to use his middle name on these items?  Who knows. 

The initials “TS” refer to Thomas Percy Sanders who was born on the 16th of February 1924.  Others record his birth in 1921 or 1925, but it was actually 1924.  After serving in the Royal Australian Air Force as an Aircraftsman in WW2, Tom moved north from Melbourne and started working in Guy Boyd's Sydney pottery as a potter and ceramic decorator. He moved back to Melbourne in 1949 and worked at the Hoffmann pottery in East Brunswick. He then spent a year with Arthur Boyd at Murrumbeena in suburban Melbourne before setting up his own pottery "T & E Sanders" at Eltham in 1950 and later “Dorian Sands”.

The Martin Boyd 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. Many of the ramekins I have that are signed as Martin Boyd are smaller than his "Guy Boyd" ones. There are larger ones with the same signature most with reverse matching colours. So there it is folks. Just because it says Boyd on the bottom, it ain’t necessarily so. Collect them just the same.  If you are lucky enough to find some that have “TS” on them, buy them.

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