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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, November 1, 2012

McCredie, Nell McCredie

Nellie (Nell) McCredie, (or Nen as she was called by her family) named after her mother was born in Concord, Sydney on the 27th of May 1901, there were siblings  Robert, Allan, Ina and George.  Nell was one of the earliest female architecture graduates from the University of Sydney.  She studied under Leslie Wilkinson (1882-1973), first Professor then Dean of Architecture at the University and she graduated in 1923.  She was a draughtsperson for the Sydney Harbour Bridge project before moving to Queensland to work for what was to become their Housing Commission between 1925-29. 

Nell was the niece of George McCredie, an early politician in NSW who built the property “Linnwood” in Guildford, an innovative property for its time.  Maybe this is where Nell got her love of architecture, because George’s brother Arthur was also an architect.

Nell returned to Sydney in 1932 and began making pottery with her brother Robert Reginald (Bob) McCredie , (b Epping NSW 1916-d Pennent Hills, NSW 1995) named after their father.  Nell had studied with L.J.Harvey who was a significant figure in the development of the arts in Queensland.  He was a remarkable potter and wood carver, it was Harvey's teaching methods that placed him as a central figure in the state's thriving arts scene.  Lewis Jarvis Harvey (1871–1949) was the most important practitioner and teacher in the Arts and Crafts Movement in Queensland; he was a noted teacher, sculptor, woodcarver and potter and influenced generations of craft students.

She operated a pottery studio over a shop (now demolished) in George Street, opposite Wynyard Railway Station, Sydney, New South Wales.  Nell also taught pottery at the YWCA.   Potters Emily Bryce Carter c.1932 and Dorothy May Hope (Domay) c.1941 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 1933 or 1934 her brother Bob (Robert) McCredie (1910-1985) joined her. Together they made domestic ware for supply to gift shops and restaurants. Nell also made one-off pieces, winning the Arts & Crafts Society's Elizabeth Soderberg Memorial Award for pottery in 1947 and 1951.  After Nell died on the 2nd of November 1968, Bob continued to operate the pottery until he retired in 1974.  It is hard to say whether these were made by Nell or her brother because of the design. 

Those of you who have been following this blog will have seen the Tremar ramekins on an earlier post.  These ramekins look like they could have been made at Tremar.  This pottery operated in Cornwall from 1962 and made earthenware that paid homage to their Celtic past.  As I have said in other posts, design copyright was viewed somewhat flexibly by some Australian potters.  This looks like another example.


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