(Jackson, Wyo.) - Last November, Jackson natives David Dahlin and Bland Hoke were hanging late one night. Just randomly, they decided to take a metal disc from a public art project that was put on hold and fashion together a pan to cook breakfast on. And it worked great.
Hoke was born and raised in Jackson. He splits his time between staff artist for Jackson Hole Public Art, and other art and design projects. Dahlin was also born and raised in Jackson. He attended architecture school on the east coast. He practiced architecture for a few years and now works in web design and graphic design, as well as helps with public art projects.
Since their initial iteration worked so well, they took the rest of the metal from the public art project and made several pans. They named their company The Grand Pan because of the massive size of the cookware.
"We dove in at the Christmas Bazaar that Snow King hosted," said Hoke. "We developed a product and launched it in an agile way to see if it would sell and it did. We sold out in two hours."
The pans are made out of an agricultural implement called a disc harrow, which is a large metal disc that is towed behind a tractor to cut up the field and break up the soils. Hoke and Dahlin find the discs in junk yards, sand blast them to get all the rust and dirt off, and start the process. Handles for the pan are fashioned from used horseshoes collected from a local farrier. As they treat the metal at different levels of heat, it incorporates different colors such as royal blues, greens and golds.
Photo: A disc harrow with a photo of several discs being pulled behind a tractor in a field.
"The best part about using old discs and trying to upcycle them into something that is of higher value is that they have all of this amazing wear and tear, pitting from the rust and dinging on the edges from hitting rocks," said Hoke "Transforming them and polishing them brings out the subtle characteristics."
Although the discs are used in farms all over the world, they are often difficult to find.
"Many go from machine to scrap yard immediately," said Dahlin.
"The world in general is going to 'no-till,' which means they won't be using these anymore," Hoke added. "Eventually we are going to run out."
Each pan is carbon steel, works like a wok and holds heat like a cast iron pan. You can use it on a campfire, gas range, electric stove or charcoal grill. Many are also used for decorative display. Since it holds heat, it can be used as a serving platter.
Photo: Hoke and Dahlin work on the pans at their shop in Wilson.
This weekend, Hoke and Dahlin will be selling these pans at the Art Fair of Jackson Hole. They are also for sale at Aspen's Market, New West Knife Works, Pearl Street Market and Vertical Harvest.
"It is a totally new spin on Farm-to-Table," said Hoke.
Learn more about The Grand Pan at www.thegrandpan.co and check out more at the 50th Annual Art Fair of Jackson Hole this weekend, August 12-14, in Miller Park.
Photo: A finished Grand Pan. h/t The Grand Pan.
Feature Photo: (Left) David Dahlin, (Right) Bland Hoke. Pitchengine Communities
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