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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, May 29, 2013

Colourware Pottery

Hans Wright
Colourware Pottery
Incised “Colourware Pottery” to base
Glazed slip lustre glaze
Shallow rounded bowl angled inwards at top.  Unglazed footring with lustre glaze to outside and spoon handle angled upwards form centre of bowl body.  Matte cream glaze to interior.  Banded brown glaze to exterior.  Slight overspray of lustre glaze to interior rim of bowl.
Very good
No number
Production Date
Late 1980s
Width at rim
Width at Base
Length (with handle)
Salvo stores Brandon Park 29th May 2013.
Rameking Reference Number
COL 001-002

Colourware Pottery seems to be a brief continuation of Hanstan.  Hanstan Studio Pty Ltd ceased as a company on the 8th of January 1988.  Like “Diana” producing later versions  (Dana) and Nefertiti, or someone from Southern Aurora, Hanstan, or a person associated with the works, continued with the production of a limited range of pottery.  This lustreware came in a small variety of patterns from ashtrays to kitchen canisters.  “Lustre” is an effect produced by a second (reduction) firing of the body with a metallic oxide glaze (bismuth oxide) in a slightly cooler kiln.  This gives the product a metallic gold, silver or bronze appearance.  The design, size and shape of these ramekins is identical to those made by Hanstan, only the glaze and signature are different.

Hanstan were mostly made on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula,in the 1960s to the early 90s.  I have been told that their pottery was located at Mornington in the Industrial area.  Starting in 1962, most of their considerable output was domestic or kitchenware so they don't appear on the radar of most of the trendy wanker collectors. Have a look in any op shop and there is sure to be at least one piece.
Hanstan output was originally mostly marked with a large incised signature "Hanstan" to the base. Other later works had either a black stamp or a black and gold sticker. These were used after Hanstan moved from hand painting to transfer designs.  These are incised “Colourware Pottery” in a similar script.

 Hanstan on the left, Colourware Pottery to the right

Hanstan refers to Hans Wright and Stan Burrage. The partnership apparently didn’t last long as I was told the two had a falling out in the early sixties with Hans and Mrs Wright continuing the pottery.  Hans Earle Wright was a salesman turned potter turned archer. He was born in the mid 1930s and completed an art course at the Melbourne Technical College, now RMIT. He started out helping a fellow student make jewellery. He married Patricia, a nurse and then moved from Sandringham to Mount Eliza.

Hans had more than one string to his bow, being Australia's best archer, he won about fifteen Australian Championships. Hans would train archers in the factory, believing that the noise of the pottery would make the archers less likely to be distracted in competition. Good for the archers but somewhat off putting for the potters. There is no record of anyone being hit by an arrow. I wonder what the Health and Safety people today would make of this. Mrs Wright would manage the pottery when Hans went off to the many archery competitions he took part in.

For two years from age 19 to 21 well known former graffiti artist Arjuna Watson worked at Hanstan Pottery Studio, hand-painting floral Christopher Vine designs. (Afterwards he makes himself a promise: “I will never paint an iris again”.) Christopher vine would come to the pottery whenever he came up with new lines. Thanks AJ for the info. If anyone has more information about this pottery, I would be pleased to hear from you. I know you are still out there Hans.

The Stan was Stanley Leonard Scud Burrage who was born in Robinvale Victoria on the 7thof December 1935 and was christened at Traralgon, Victoria one year later. Like Hans, he originally worked in sales but together they began Hanstan pottery at his parents, George and Elsie (Weymouth) Burrage’ home and poultry farm on Springvale road, Springvale, Victoria in 1962. 

The partnership dissolved in 1964 and Hans then continued the business in Mornington,  Stan and wife Helen went overseas for two years then they moved to the bayside suburb of Mentone, where they ran a hardware shop in Hampton for two years. then back to Vinifera near Swan Hill to be an Orchardist betweenn 1972 to 75.  Later, in the early 1980s, Stan worked as a contractor in Dingley, Victoria.  Stan died too young at the age of 52 in Montrose Victoria on the 1st of March 1987

The Wrights lived in Mount Eliza and worked in the neighbouring town of Mornington. Hans is reputed to have been a bit of a workaholic. The pottery was run as a fully commercial operation, producing mainly domestic wares.  Staff served a form of "apprenticeship" doing routine process work before graduating to more involved work. Starting in the sanding booth, cleaning up the bodies from the moulds before moving on to glazing, then if you were good enough, or had lasted the distance, decorating.

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