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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Longley, Bill Longley

Bill Longley
Bill Longley
Small impressed stamp “Bill Longley Australia” to side of base
Well made, heavy wheel thrown earthenware bowl with strap handle fitted over depressed demi-lune inset on rim.   Hand painted floral design to interior of bowl.  Off-white gloss glaze applied to both interior and exterior, except foot.  Thin light-blue line around top of rim and near the base of the interior of bowl.
Very Good

Production Date
Length (with handle)
Salvos Noble Park 2 Dec 2011
Rameking Reference Number
BIL 001
BIL 002
BIL 003
BIL 004
BIL 005
BIL 006

Had they been made around a century ago, instead of recently, I could almost describe these as a missing link between a bowl and a ramekin.  Using my own definition, these have to be ramekins because they have a functional handle to one side.  They are of a modern shape and design, being made of a fine earthenware with glaze to inside and out with an unglazed foot and are stamped “Bill Longley Australia” to the base.

Bill Longley began an apprenticeship with “Kingwood Rural Industries” Surrey in 1948.  They then became “Greyshott Pottery” in 1956.  This Pottery is about an hour west of London and was producing ceramic giftware for London stores and gift shops. It now creates studio art ceramics for galleries and homes around the UK and under its “Grayshott Stoneware brand; it makes catering ware for many well-known pubs and restaurants, as well as custom ceramics for celebrity chefs

After a long stint in the Royal Air Force (1954 to 1977) and later, teacher training, Bill bought the “Penderleath Pottery”; St Ives, Cornwall in 1977 from Anthony Richards and renamed it the “Cripplesease Pottery.”  The interestingly named place is just outside the village of Nancledra, in Towednack Parish.  Cripplesease is belived to mean that it is a resting place.  Bill made a wide range of domestic stoneware.  He built up the pottery into a successful business, eventually selling in 1981 and migrating to Australia with his wife Sue.  The business then became less successful until around 1984 when other owners took over.

Arriving in Melbourne, Bill began making and selling pottery at weekend markets, as well as helping Robert Gordon (June Dyson’s son) set up his pottery, begun in 1979, in Pakenham, now an outer suburb of Melbourne.  The Robert Gordon Pottery is now a fully mechanized works and one of Australia's largest pottery businesses.   They also do a nice coffee and a reasonable Devonshire Tea, it is worth a visit.  These ramekins are very similar to Robert Gordon Pottery, where Bill worked as an advisor and thrower for some time.

Robert Gordon Pottery makes high-fired (2000 deg.) stoneware kitchenware, dinnerware and bakeware.  Bill then retired in the late 1980s to Daylesford, a picturesque country town in central Victoria where he keeps his hand in as a craft instructor and mentor.

Bill in Daylesford, Victoria 1988

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