These cast iron pans are part of an art installation by Wisconsin artist Alisa Toninato of FeLion Studios out of Madison. When she began doing metal work, she found herself deeply interested in the local DIY scene and drawn to homey things that reminded her of her home state. She was playing with the idea of putting faces in waffle irons and cookware when she came up with the Wisconsin skillet. She doesn’t mess around this one, she uses ages-old methods that involve hand-cut wood patterns, sand molds, and a fiery pour of molten hot metal.
On a subsequent plane ride, she grabbed the seat-pocket map and inspiration hit. She spent the plane trip working out the handles and positioning of what would become “Made In America“, the art installation of state-shaped cast iron pans that fit together to form the whole country. Martha loved it.
Doesn’t it make you salivate for the perfect Sconnie grilled cheese? These are hefty, seasoned pans that really crave for some cold-weather cooking. I wanted nothing more than to bring the MN pan to my fire pit for some campfire donuts.
Some of the original art pans are for sale, Minnesota will cost you roughly $700, California (a two hander) runs $1,500. Here’s the great news, while Alisa wants to keep making art, she knows a hot pan when she sees one. She’s contracted with a foundry in the Twin Cities area to manufacture the pans and the Wisconsin “Cook With Pride” skillet can be ordered for about $120. And guess what, the Minnesota pan isn’t far behind.