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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, October 15, 2012


Dorothy May Hope
Incised signature underglaze “Domay” to base with letter “S”  above.
Clear glazed press moulded slip.  Square dish with tab handle moulded to top of rim, angled sides to narrower base.  Square glazed foot-ring.  Off-white with harlequin interior.  
Very good, No chips, cracks or crazing.
No number
Production Date
Late 1950s
Width at rim
Width at Base
Length (with handle)

Salvo Store, Brandon Park 15th Oct 2012.
Rameking Reference Number
DOM 001-003

Domay was the name of a line of slipcast ware designed by Dorothy May Hope (nee Dundas; b:1917) in the 1950s and early 1960s and mainly sold through the Sydney department store David Jones.  Mostly plain angular somewhat geometric homewares, in plain or polka dot decoration.  Domay being a combination of her first names, Dorothy May.  She began her career at Nell McCredies pottery studio in 1941 over a shop (now demolished) in George Street, opposite Wynyard Railway Station.  Nell also taught pottery at the YWCA.   Potter Emily Bryce Carter c.1932 also first learnt pottery at McCredie's studio.  Nell’s work and that of her students was fired in the kiln at her home at 17 Stanley Road, Epping.

In 1942 Dorothy married Dental Mechanic and later builder Jack Hope before he joined a Dental Unit during the second world war.  In the early 1950s she went to the St George Technical College at Ultimo in Sydney.  At that time, the Department of Technical Education permitted the newly established New South Wales University of Technology (later the University of New South Wales) to conduct the technical college diploma courses in the same fields as university degree courses. They were still conducted at the College but under university patronage.

She and Jack had moved to Yowie Bay, to a large bayside site, now valued at over $1million.  It is a Sydney suburb, named after the aboriginal for “place of echoes”, not the mythological beast similar to the American Bigfoot.  She began a small commercial pottery there and employed staff to do the casting and cleaning the bodies but she said that she found the administrative side of the pottery dull.  If you think admin was dull in the early 60s, try running a business today.  She closed the business in 1962 and left Sydney to set up the still operating Thrumster Village Pottery which is a pottery and craft centre situated on almost 4ha of land 9km (6 miles) west of Port Macquarie on the Oxley Highway.  I think there may have been a bit more to it.  There was a credit squeeze in Australia then and the trade agreement with Japan was beginning to bite with a lot of potteries closing. 

As well as pottery at Thrumster, there are also leatherwork, copper enameling, hand made glassware and hand  crafted works on display.   Work from this time is mostly glazed earthenware in the earth toned glazed so popular at the time.  For more on Dorothy at Port Macquarie after her Domay years, I have copied what follows from Australian Pottery Blogs. 

“For the first six years, they produced earthenware from local clay and oxides. In 1967, they met Carl McConnell, who became a frequent visitor, helping the Hopes to build a wood-fired kiln, and to convert to stoneware and once-firing. Later, they changed to oil-firing and Dorothy started making large sculptural pieces and commissioned wall panels. In 1968, they started holding craft exhibitions. In 1975, they added two new buildings to the complex to enable Dorothy and other makers to hold weekend and week-long schools, and also to stage festivals.

In 1982, Jack built the Log Cabin Gallery as a third exhibition space. In 1986, they retired and sold the property, which still operates as a craft centre. In 1990, Dorothy published a slim book entitled “ Impressions in clay about her life as a potter. Her work is marked with an impressed 'DH' and 'TV' for Thrumster Village. Jack, who did the jigger and jolleying work, used an incised 'JH' and 'TV'”.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your research, presented in a concise, well written format. Ray.