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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, March 19, 2012

Peter Fergusson

Designer Peter Fergusson
Maker Peter Fergusson
Peter Fergusson
Hand Made
Earthenware bowl, Off-white high gloss glaze to interior and top of exterior rim and underside of handle. Circular base also has glaze
Condition Good, some age related crazing to glaze on interior of bowl.

Production Date Early 1950s (1953-1954)
Width 90mm
Depth 30mm
Length (with handle) 125mm
Weight 105gm
Volume 115ml
Acquisition Mt Waverley Antique Market 19 March 2012
Rameking Reference Number PPF 001-005

I cannot find much about Peter. What I have found is that Peter Paul Fergusson was an artist and potter from New South Wales in Australia. In 1958 he was living in the Sydney suburb of Hornsby with wife Judith, also a potter and son Christpopher James. Their home is long gone at 27 Hunter Street and is now a large shopping centre. In 1968, Judith was living and working as a potter at 1a Clarke Road Waitara, just next door to Hornsby. Peter was born in Paris on 3rd September 1903 but is said to have been English and come to Australia before the second world war because Peter served in the Australian forces during the war.   He enlisted in May 1941 and was discharged in March 1944 with the rank of Captain, having served in an armored unit.
He was believed to be self taught and began making pottery in Sydney in 1946, firstly Ford says that he started in 1946 in Turramurra, now a well to do northern suburb of Sydney. Interestingly his son Christopher became an accountant and later returned to Turramurra. Ford says that Peter moved to Horsby in 1950. This is where these ramekins were made. It appears that Peter stopped making around 1956 and went on to painting. 

The only other piece of his work listed is a pin dish held by the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. In 1953 and 1954, Peter advertised for staff to work at his pottery as glazers and dippers. Sydney in those days was home to numerous small potteries that operated for a short time then rocketed to obscurity. Newspaper articles in 1953 show his square shaped tea cups and saucers, check out the Essexware ramekins on my site and this may be where Gordon and Rudy got their idea from. 

 No other information on him is available, so if anyone knows more, please let me know.


  1. I have an oval shaped bowl by Peter Ferguson. It is cream with an orange glaze on the inside. A leaf pattern has been drawn into the interior.

  2. We have a vase made by him. Its like 2 clam shells joined and an opening for the flowers