Ameema Ahmed

When it comes to cookware, people can be particular. Whether it’s a favorite pan or a skillet that’s been passed down for generations, the right tool can make all the difference. That’s why Copper State Forge takes pride in the carbon-steel skillets made at its forge in Goodyear. Like chefs creating a delicious meal, father-and-son founders Bill and Tristan Godwin (pictured) hope using the right ingredients makes their skillets indispensable.

The Godwins got interested in blacksmithing when they had extra free time during the pandemic. “We loved to cook, so we started making some pans and handing them out to friends and family,” Tristan says. “Everybody told us they really enjoyed them, so we decided to turn it into a business.”

The pair spent a few months “perfecting” the pans and figuring out how to make them look nice, then reached out to the market manager at Uptown Farmers Market to see if they could try selling their pans there. “Although we’re not food, we’re pretty much as close to food as you can get,” Bill says. “[Our products] fit in really well with the farmers market clientele.”

As research emerges about the use of chemicals in cookware, people are becoming increasingly conscious of the pots and pans they use to prepare their food. Carbon-steel cookware is growing in popularity among those looking for non-toxic, versatile cookware choices. “Carbon steel is a great option,” Bill says. “The pans season up like cast iron, but they’re lightweight. We can also make handles that are long and don’t get hot immediately.”

The Godwins learned how to create the pans through a lot of hands-on experience and lessons from what they call the “University of YouTube.” They used guidance from blacksmithing channels, as well as some unlikely sources. “I learned how to eliminate some of the wrinkles in our pan by watching a channel on car bodywork,” Bill says. “Making the pans is more like bodywork, while the handle is more of the blacksmithing.”

And the whole process is an exercise in patience. When they first started out, the pair were taking a whole day to create only two pans. As they started to finesse some of their procedures, the process became less time-consuming, but each pan still takes about three hours to forge. 

Once the pans are made, they’re coated with grapeseed oil, which adds some non-stick properties and keeps them seasoned. They keep evolving after that, too. “The pans have a really beautiful appearance to them, but what’s funny is, the appearance changes after people cook with them,” Tristan says. “We tell people, ‘The pan is beautiful, but don’t fall in love with the color.’ ”

 Much like cast iron pans, carbon-steel pans require some maintenance. The Godwins suggest washing them with water and lightly scrubbing with a brush if necessary, then seasoning them with a cooking oil. “It’s going to last a lifetime,” Bill says. “You’re going to have to leave it to somebody.”

Randy McGrane discovered Copper State Forge cookware at a farmers market in Flagstaff a couple of years ago. He says he’s become a fan of carbon-steel pans because of their function and design. “I like the simple artistry of the pan — it’s a perfect blend of form and function,” he says. “I love seeing them hang from my pot rack, and I get excited when I pull one down to use it, knowing how they perform.” 

McGrane says even though the pans aren’t cheap, he likes knowing they’ll last and get better with each use. He also likes to support Copper State Forge because of the passion the Godwins bring to the business. “I visited their forge, and they are the happiest people working their butts off I’ve ever seen,” he says.

In fact, the Godwins encourage other potential customers to pay a visit to their forge in the West Valley. “Give us a call so we can sweep up a bit, and then come and see where we make our pans,” Tristan says. “It will help you understand the process.” And for those interested in blacksmithing, Copper State Forge offers classes where participants can learn to make knives, keychain racks and plant hangers. 

In addition to their skillets, Copper State Forge sells roasting pans and utensils. All of their products can be ordered online or purchased at local farmers markets.

Business Information

Copper State Forge
1300 S. Litchfield Road
Goodyear, AZ
United States