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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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


Friday, November 28, 2014

Preston, Reg

Reg Preston
Reg Preston
Painted “P” To base in black.
Glazed Slip
Wheel thrown, hand moulded conical bowl with indented tab handle.  Grey semi gloss glaze with white glaze to handle.  Unglazed foot ring
Very good
No number
Production Date
Late 1960s
Width at rim
Width at Base
Length (with handle)
Mill Antiques Ballarat
27 November 2014.
Rameking Reference Number
PRE 001

Reginald (Reg) Preston was born in Sydney, New South Wales on the 18th of March 1917.  In his early years, he travelled to London in 1937 after a meeting with Ola Cohn (Melbourne Fairy Tree) where he studied sculpture at the Westminster School of Art in 1938, a private college located at 18 Tufton Street, Deans yard, Westminster, the school was part of the old Architectural Museum.

He returned to Australia at the beginning of the Second-World-War.  He was attracted to pottery after watching Alan Lowe.  Although often cited as being self-taught, Reg spent a short time potting at the Melbourne Technical College under John Barnard Knight and Klytie Pate in 1944.  He then began working at Cooper and Cooke (Ceramics) Pty Ltd pottery at Glenhuntly, Melbourne in 1945-1946.  This company produced mostly ceramic insulators during the war but switched to producing Ceramic electric jugs later on.  Reg had also set up a studio in his home in 1945.

In 1947 he moved to the bush area of Warrandyte and began working full time as a potter, making a range of domestic and decorative wares, although he claims to have set up his own studio in 1945.  In the early 1950s, he and his first wife Joan, along with Katie Janeba and Alex Goyda were operating and selling in the “Parsons Gully Gallery” making and selling a range of earthenware.  He held his first solo exhibition in Melbourne in 1958.

In 1958, Reg married his apprentice, potter Phyl Dunn.  After a talk from Alan Lowe, they set up the “Potters Cottage” at Warrandyte, along with Gus and Beth McLaren, Charles Wilton and Artur and Sylvia Halpern.  The group began in Osbourne Road in a shed on Meg Nicholas’ property.  Reg and Betty Hipwell had organized the purchase of a potters wheel and moved in from Ferntree Gully.  Reg was also now doing some work in English Slip.  During this early peiod, Reg & Phyl were using the brand name “Ceres” on some work.  Ceres is the name of the Roman God of agriculture.  Some of their work at this time was made with pseudo-aboriginal motifs. 

Phyl had been studying painting with Daniela Vasieleff. Painters Elizabeth and Daniela Vasilieff were working there along with other artists Harry and Marie Hudson, Wally Manders and Inga and Graham King.  Originally Phyll had seen Merric Boyd working at the Primrose Pottery Shop in Melbourne, and seen a film on African pottery.  Michael Cardew had been working in Africa around this time and had influenced several English potters who had traveled there, later returning to England.

Reg once said of his work: "I quite simply make pots that please me. They are derived from a number of factors, the clay itself, the firing, other pots from other ages; these factors have over the years of work been gradually assimilated and become unconscious. The best ideas for me come from pots and from long bouts of continuous work. I find continuity of thought about the pots that I'm making day to day to be the time that is most fruitful. Occasionally when all the thought about the process, the technical knowledge merge and become one, then days later you might get from the kiln one or two pots that stand as it were 'on their own legs' detached and quite apart

Reg began making stoneware with vitreous or metallic glazes in 1967.  Stoneware is fired at a higher temperature to earthenware.  Many of these pieces have striking abstract patterns.  He continued well into the 1980s making larger decorative pieces.

In 1982, they moved to Woolamai on Phillip Island with friends Mr & Mrs Edna Witt.  Charles Wilton and Eric Juckert were also working there at the time.  They continued to work there until 1995.  Phyl died in 1999.

Reg is an acknowledged master and has pieces in collections such as the National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Powerhouse Museum, Queensland University of Technology museum and many smaller regional galleries.  Many pieces were donated by Reg’s Executor, potter John Dermer.

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