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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, December 3, 2011

Mystery Maker Marked V Palmer

Mystery Maker V Palmer
Mystery Maker V Palmer
Painted V Palmer to base of 2 of the ramekins, stamped “VP to side of base on one.
Wheel thrown terra-cotta bowl with flat base.  Sides curving inwards then flaring out at the top. Glazed to interior, handle and exterior.  Hollow trumpet handle.  Throwing and glazing similar to Tremar pottery.  Unglazed flat base.
Very Good
No number
Production Date
Length (with handle)
Salvos Store Noble Park, 2 Dec 2011
Rameking Reference No
VPA 001-003

No information on V Palmer so far.  This type of primitive earthenware had resurgence in Australia in the 1970s when a renewed interest in our past led to a revival of early arts and crafts.  Op shops are now full of this cheap pseudo-vintage earthenware.  Terra Cotta is probably the most common form around today.   Earthenware is a moderately porous pottery body that is fired to a temperature somewhat below that required to produce a vitreous article.  Ceramic vessels are fired to temperatures of 700-1200° centigrade. It is generally opaque, porous, course ceramic and made from potash, sand, feldspar and clay.  It is one of the oldest materials used in pottery. 

These ramekins are made from Terra Cotta.  This is a type of earthenware clay that is baked to become hard and compact (from the Italian meaning "cooked earth").  It is a hard, semi-fired and absorbent clay used for both decorative and construction products. The colours can range from grayish to dark reddish-orange, light to medium reddish-brown, or strong brown to brownish or deep orange.  It is lightly fired, unglazed earthenware usually reddish in colour. It has frequently been used by sculptors and modelers to produce models or studies for more finished pieces in other materials.

Classically, most earthenware has a red coloring, due to the use of iron rich clays.  However, this is not always the case, and for the modern potter, white and in the case of these, buff colored earthenware clays were commercially available.  It can be as thin as bone china and other porcelains, though it is not translucent and is more easily chipped.  Earthenware is also less strong, less tough, and more porous than stoneware, but its low cost and easier working compensate for these deficiencies. Due to its higher porosity, earthenware must usually be glazed in order to be watertight, this isn’t.

There is a quote about Tremar that I think also applies to these; “ If you had to design pottery perfect for Bilbo Baggins and Hobbits I think this would be it!  There is a certain ancient charm about it.  This pottery is so earthy, rustic and charming; but not without a high level of craftsmanship. The pieces are beautifully and confidently hand-thrown and so lovely to the touch - very smooth, very matt glazes, and with great use of pattern, colour, form and 

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