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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, April 17, 2013

Belltower Pottery

Probably by John Stroomer
Belltower Pottery
Stamped “Belltower Pottery” in oval cartouche to base.
Heavy wheel thrown, hand made recurved earthenware bowl with flat unglazed base and looped strap handle.  Matte brown glaze to interior and exterior with darker brown flecks and stripes.
Very good
No number
Production Date
Width at rim
Width at Base
Length (with handle)
14th April 2013.
Rameking Reference Number
BEL 001-002

These ramekins were made by the Belltower Pottery, set up in 1974 by Robert Richard Rudolph Dybka in the Victorian Country town of Kyabram. 
  Known as Rudolf (Rudi) Dybka, he was born 11 mar 1935- and his then wife Anna, a glass engraver, came to Australia in 1968 from France on the migrant ship “Toscana”, one of the few Italian ships to survive the war,  through the Australian Post-War Assisted Passage Scheme.  He first set up a pottery studio in his backyard at Rydalmere, NSW.

While working at the Crown Crystal Glass Company, Anna met sculptor Vladimir Tichy and introduced him to Rudolph.  Ceramicist Vladimir Tichy, a Czech was born 14th September 1926 arrived in Australia on a migrant charter flight with his wife Jirina and daughter Marcela after leaving Vienna on the 9th of December 1968. 


Following World War II, Australia took advantage of the instability in Europe to encourage refugees and displaced persons to migrate.  Populating Australia was seen as a way of ensuring our safety and guaranteeing our future.  It was argued that by increasing our population, Australia was less likely to be a target for invasion.  The two set up Studio Dibka-Tichy in Paramatta soon after they met.  Rudi left to move to Kyabram in 1974 where he began “Belltower Pottery”, that later moved (in 1987) to the old Kyabram Butter Factor, 1 Eddis Street.  

Kyabram Butter Factory

With Rudi, it was never a financial success and he and new partner Judith Anne left in 1977 to manage the Albury Pottery where he stayed until 1983.  A Ceramicist still operates in a tin shed next to the factory. 

Rudi’s Belltower Pottery had been bought from the Recievers by John Stroomer, a local Shepparton boy.  John was more successful, building up the business.  I think these ramekins were made during his stewardship.  Now with a significant international reputation, John Joseph Stroomer has operated a pottery in Shepparton since early 2000 and works in high-fired, hand thrown stoneware and porcelain, specializing in crystalline glazes.

Moving north, Rudi began Four Winds Ceramics Pty Ltd are located at 12 Bowers Road, Everton Hills, Queensland to produce hand painted vitrified stoneware. This time the business flourished and Rudi still oversees every aspect of the production process.

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