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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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


Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Marcus Daniels
Marcus Daniels/Gulson Goulburn
Stamped “Gulson Goulburn” inside oval cartouche with initials JD impressed to right beside stamp to outside if base.
Grey clay
Gloss glazed earthenware circular bowl with rim squared.  Unglazed flat foot ring.  Dark brown gloss glaze to interior, exterior and handle with striped double “V” pattern to exterior inside brown banding at upper and lower exterior.
Very good.  One handle broken in transit
No number
Production Date
Width at rim
Width at Base
Length (with handle)
Rameking Reference Number
GUL 001-007

Gulson Brick & Pottery Company was begun in Goulburn by potter Francis Gulson (1841-1927) and operated from February 1884.   Francis and his wife Elizabeth first came to Goulburn from Albury in 1880 and started to Wollandale Brewery.  It shut down after four years.  Who would have thought you would lose money running a brewery in Australia?  The problem was the water, and, as all Tasmanians know, in beer, it’s the water that makes the difference.  Drought had turned the water sour. 

The company known originally as Gulson's Brick & Pottery Company Pty Ltd manufactured other clay products including tiles, stoneware pipes, fittings and terracotta wares.  Originally the clay was prepared by being milled in a horse-drawn pugmill.  Bricks were pressed by hand.  This continued until 1914 when a brick-making machine was imported from England.  Newer kilns had been built by this time. 

Gulson is a name long associated with brick-making.  Back in Kelvedon, Essex in England, Fredericks grandfather William Gulson managed a brickworks for the local Lord of the Manor.  (Some of the brick-making machines at Gulsons came from Kelvedon.)  Sons Francis and Luke came to Australia and began the Albury Brickworks.  Younger brother Thomas followed later and became a partner with Francis.

Goulburn is Australia's oldest inland city dating back to the earliest days of the colony. Many of the buildings in the town have been built using bricks from the Gulson Brickworks.   Brother Luke had run a brick-works in the border town of Albury.  Although Gulsons no longer operates as a brick-works, it became a tourist and craft centre for a while.  Like many brickworks around Australia, Gulson not only made bricks, pipes and tiles, but also a variety of other pottery including domestic wares. 

Francis died in 1927 and the brickworks continued under the management of four generations of the Gulson family until 1989 when it closed and became the Gulson Craft Village.  Allan (Lyn) Gulson had managed the Illawarra Fireclay & Brick Co. but came back to Goulburn in 1922 to run the Brickworks. 
Marcus Daniels with a young Gulson
Craft-village pottery was made by potters working alone (or in small groups), producing unique items in small quantities, typically with all making carried out by one person.  These ramekins date from that time.  The craft village contained a tea room, potter and wood turner, housed in the vaulted ceilings of the salt glazed interiors of the old kilns.  These are some of the best surviving examples of rectangular downdraught kilns.   

The Wood-Turning shop at Gulsons 1999

A lot of studio pottery is functional like these ramekins but increasingly studio potters produce non-functional decorative or sculptural items.  This appears to be the case with these ramekins.  “MD” is potter Marcus Daniels, who has now left the industry and is now living in Queensland.  

Marcus Daniels was born in Darwin, Northern Territory and educated at St Patrick's College Goulburn.  On completion of his secondary education, he enrolled at the East Sydney Technical School, where many famous Australian potters studied.  A grant from the Arts Council allowed Marcus to complete further training at the Sturt Gallery under Ian Mackay, near Mittagong in New South Wales.  Les Blakeborough had been in charge at the Sturt Gallery in the early 1950s.  On his return to Goulburn in 1984, he set up shop as a full time potter.

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