If you’ve joined our Solidteknics community in recent years, you may have seen “AUSfonte™” pop up in posts and wondered what the hype was all about?! We thought it was high time we demystified Ausfonte™. It’s an important part of our history, and the product that launched us on this heirloom cookware journey.
AUSfonte™ was Solidteknics’ very first range: innovative, 100% Australian-made, cast iron cookware. Having previously built a company from scratch following the traditional corporate model, founder Mark Henry knew business should be done differently, and better. Business that put people and the environment before profits. Locally-made innovations that were made to last for centuries.
In 2014 the first Ausfonte™ pan was launched on crowdfunding-platform Kickstarter, and it became immediately clear that there was a need for quality, Australian-made cookware. Little did he know this would be the start of a whole new way of doing business, and the foundation of something very special: the creation of our Solid community.
Seasoned bare cast iron had been popular with cooks for centuries for how it held heat and browned food. Iron (cast or wrought) was also the only known way to achieve a healthy, natural, forever-renewable non-stick surface. Having been in the industry for many years with his previous designs for chefs, Mark had become increasingly aware of, and concerned with, the damage synthetic non-stick coatings were doing to our bodies and our environment.
As a mechanical engineer and long time lover of cast iron, Mark knew he could improve on the old traditional cast iron... so that’s exactly what he did!
Clean Australian Iron
Mark wanted to ensure the cast iron offered not only improved performance, but was healthy and safe. Using clean Australian iron meant no added heavy metals or coatings which can often be found in imported cast iron.
Comfortable love handles
Mark was determined to make a cast iron handle that was actually comfortable - homing in on the ideal long, vented handle to distribute load, improve control, and reduce handle heat. The result was the most comfortable ergonomic/dynamic handles ever put on a cast iron pan, with cleverly engineered vents for minimal heat transfer.
Passionate about local manufacturing, Mark set out to reinvigorate Australia’s defunct cookware industry, at which time all of Australia’s production cookware had been sent offshore. Mark partnered with Australia’s best production foundry. By no means the cheap option, but there was no compromise on quality.
Built to last generations
Products built so well, they would be passed down as family heirlooms for generations. Many thought Mark’s ‘multi-century warranty’ was either crazy, or a marketing gimmick. It was neither - just solid engineering.
It was becoming increasingly difficult for our foundry to keep up with demand and our high quality control standards. This also coincided with the launch of AUS-ION™ - our patented world-first one-piece wrought iron cookware. Whilst it was sad to say goodbye to our first “baby”, we took comfort in knowing we had created something even better with AUS-ION™. All the benefits of AUSfonte™, at half the weight, and even more conductive and durable!
AUSfonte™ will always hold a special place in our hearts, and in those of our early adopters. There is a strong sense of nostalgia associated with it - they’re highly sought-after collectors pieces these days!
If you're passionate about acquiring AUSfonte™ cast iron pans that are SOLID by design and not your typical stubby, short-handled ones, keep an eye out for updates in the future as we explore opportunities to collaborate with other foundries in Australia.
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In the spirit of reconciliation Solidteknics acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.