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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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

Bryce Chesney

Bryce Chesney
Bryce Chesney
Stamped “BC” inside small fish shape to outside of base.
Blue clay
Large heavy earthenware bowl with tube handle. Clear gloss glaze to whole of body with blue check pattern flashing to exterior.
No number
Production Date
Early 1980s
Width at rim
Width at Base
Length (with handle)
E-Bay 19th July 2012
Rameking Reference Number
BCH 001-002

Reinvention could be the word for Bryce Chesney because he has had several careers in an eventful life.  Born in 1930 in Tully, Queensland to father, Alexander Hugh Chesney and mother Margaret, Bryce showed an artistic side from an early age, winning an orchid-growing prize in his early primary school years.  He also won a prize for his kelpie dog.

His father served in the Royal Australian Air Force for a short time during World War II then after buying a motor garage, began making and selling caravans in Queensland, or trailers to my American friends.  Check out Chesney Caravans on the interweb and see what they built.  Young Bryce joined brothers Neil (who still travels around in caravans) and Frank and began working there as a fitter and continued on in various capacities for many years until the early 1970s when he studied to become a Minister of religion.  Around 1980, he and wife Valerie moved to Sydney where he taught himself pottery-making. 

Bryce used a modification of the early Christian symbol of the sign of the fish or Icthys, His work was marked with a stamped impressed BC inside the fish and may (or in the case of these ramekins) may not have his incised signature.  These are large wheel thrown earthenware ramekins dating from the early 1980s.  Bryce made pottery on and off for the next fifteen years until his retirement in the mid 1990s.  He and Valerie now live in a retirement home near Maroochydore in Queensland.

I hope I have got this right, if not, could one of the Chesney's give me some more information.

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