Maker Stories

Friday Giveaway: Hand-Forged Kitchen Tools

September 10, 2010

ETA 10:26 AM, Sept. 13: Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Congratulations to Jennifer, our latest Friday giveaway winner. Her favorite pizza topping is the garlic dipping sauce– which is a great answer for almost every slice.

Stay tuned for future giveaways by subscribing to The Goods via RSS.

This week’s giveaway comes with a really awesome story.

After 20 years of working in a high-production industry, Al Stephens decided to become a blacksmith. He visited Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site in Illinois, and soon became a volunteer in the 19th century blacksmith shop where they had bellows, a coal forge, anvil, and vise. For the next few years, Al developed his skills by working with other blacksmiths who taught him the trade.

And by 2000, he and his wife Sylvia had started their own blacksmith shop. Today Al makes items like the pizza cutter and cheese slicer by hand, in his shop in rural northern Alabama.

Impressed? We certainly are!

This week we’re giving away two hand-forged kitchen tools available on our site– a cheese slicer and a pizza cutter— to one lucky reader.

Want to win? You know what to do! Leave a comment below telling us about your favorite pizza topping or type of cheese. Then leave a comment on our Facebook wall, and tweet @uncommongoods on Twitter to triple your chances.  We’ll announce the random winner on Monday.

Want to learn more about the art of forging metal? Al Stephens suggests you go out there and try it! The Artist Blacksmith’s Association of North America has local affiliates all over the country. Find a group near you and attend the regular meetings. Al says, “One-on-one teaching is an excellent way to learn, hands-on style.”

And it certainly paid off for him!  Happy Friday, everybody!


  • Reply Julie Dehner September 10, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    spinach, garlic, and goat cheese is a particular favorite. mmmmm….

  • Reply Patti September 10, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    black olives!!!

  • Reply crystal brocious September 10, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    my favortie topping si bbq chicken pineapple and red onions

    Cbrocious1984 AT gmail DOT com


  • Reply Jacqueline A. September 10, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    My grandpa played around with blacksmithing. It’s a great art.

  • Reply crystal brocious September 10, 2010 at 2:06 pm


    cbrocious1984 AT gmail DOT com

  • Reply hminnesota September 10, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    my fave pizza topping is banana pepper

  • Reply Lindsay September 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Tomato, basil, and mozarella 😀 Nom!

  • Reply mara September 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    My favorite cheese is gouda cheese!

  • Reply Gary Cuff September 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    My fav toppings are bacon n cheddar cheese!!!! mmmmm I think i want a pizza now!!!!!

  • Reply Diane Stokes September 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    My current favorite pizza is called a pacific veggie. It’s loaded with so many wonderful flavors.

  • Reply Gary Cuff September 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    My fav toppings are bacon n cheddar cheese!!! mmmmm!!!! I think i want to order a pizza now!!! LOL

  • Reply Lynn September 10, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    black olives & pineapple!

  • Reply Stacey September 10, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Sauerkraut and sausage

  • Reply Mariajose September 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    figs, gives you the sweet and salty factor

  • Reply Kathleen September 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I love a white pizza! Mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, and tomatoes! YUM!

    @Sparklezstars on twitter (I tweeted)

    Kathleen Dalton on Facebook (I commented on your wall)

  • Reply DR September 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    pepperoni and green chile

  • Reply Kristin September 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Canadian bacon and pineapple!!

  • Reply reva skie September 10, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Some of my favorite toppings are goat cheese and carmelized onion. Mmmm.

  • Reply Michelle September 10, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    My favorite pizza is Imo’s pizza… St. Louis style made with Provel cheese… YUMMY! Add some green pepper and you’ve got yourself one AMAZING pizza!

  • Reply Lorena September 10, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I’m so boring, I like tomatoes, green olives, and bacon on my pizza.

  • Reply Julia Jones September 10, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Fresh tomatoes, black olives, onions and Italian cheeses! Nummmmmmy!

  • Reply Bethany September 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I love provolone cheese!!

  • Reply Jennifer September 10, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    garlic butter dipping sauce for my pizza!

  • Reply Harmony September 10, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Bacon, mmmmmmmmm….

  • Reply Bling Juman September 10, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Favorite cheese? Uhhhhh, how ’bout ALL! It’s really hysterical how much I love cheeses! Lol! Thank God I’m NOT lactose intolerant!

  • Reply Sarah September 10, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Pepperoni, Mushrooms, and Green Olives!

  • Reply Lisa September 10, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, fresh spinach and inconceivable amounts of feta and mozz. cheese!

  • Reply Sherry September 10, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    My favorite cheese is bleu – but not so much on a pizza!

  • Reply Stacey Mclean September 10, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I love fresh spinach & fresh mushroom pizza! And almost ANy white pizza around!

  • Reply Nicole Larimore September 10, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    That’s it! Pizza = Friday night special baby!!!! Looks like pizza tonight! Pepperoni please?!

  • Reply Megan Perkins September 10, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I love bacon & onion on a pizza & some good pepperjack cheese!

  • Reply Jodi G September 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    My husband & I are pizza snobs – nothing’s as good as when we make it ourselves. I’ll make the dough, and he makes the sauce – our favorite toppings: pineapple & hot pepper!

  • Reply Missy September 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Lots of veggies: black olive, mushrooms, peppers, onion, tomato – yum!!!

    My other fav is pineapple, just pineapple.

  • Reply Rhonda September 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I love gorgonzola cheese – but not on pizza…mushrooms on pizza!

  • Reply Anne September 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    A little bit of anchovy makes the ‘za for me.

  • Reply Liisa Walimaa September 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Fresh basil & roma tomatoes…on a gluten free crust

  • Reply Jessica Wells September 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Definitely some good old NYC plain cheese pizza, covered in fresh rosemary and sea salt. YUM. Growl. Now I’m hungry…

  • Reply Christine September 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I’m eating pizza right now!
    My favorite is grilled chicken, bacon and mushrooms on a thin crust! Delish!

  • Reply Caroline Mara September 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    cheese with thinly sliced carmelized purple onion on top. Thin crust of course:)

  • Reply Amanda September 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I have to steal from a restaurant I used to work at… pesto, avocado, red onions…

  • Reply Robin September 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    green chile’, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and pineapple!

  • Reply Ashley September 10, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Oooh but I do love hawaiian.

  • Reply Melinda September 10, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    favorite cheese would have to be smoked gouda. Especially good in a homemade mac and cheese.

  • Reply jackie September 10, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    mmm, one of my favs would be mozzarella with basil. =) i ♥♥♥ pizza!

  • Reply Judy September 10, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    My fav topping for pizza is pineapple, but the catch is, I’m vegetarian, and pineapple traditionally goes w/ham. Sigh. (Not to mention that my hubby doesn’t like pineapple on pizza…)

  • Reply Nicole September 10, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Roasted green chile and cheese. MMMMM.

  • Reply Kimberley September 10, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Roasted garlic and cheese on grilled pizza.

  • Reply Jill September 10, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Mushrooms, onions, tomatoes! Oh my goodness! Melty!

  • Reply Deanne Ross September 10, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Italian sausage, banana peppers, ricotta cheese, and red sauce

  • Reply Whitney September 10, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    favorite pizza: lots and lots of cheese. simple and fantastic

  • Reply Karen September 10, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Black olive and pepperoni

  • Reply Janet Lewis September 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I love pizza of all types, but I am most excited about the handmade metal aspect of the tools in this giveaway!

  • Reply michelle wysocki September 10, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    love the pizza slicer

  • Reply Julia September 10, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    kalamata olives + spinach + prosciutto = heaven!

  • Reply Heather Ludwig September 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    My favorite pizza topping includes a slightly sweet-basil sauce, a HEAP of pepperjack cheese and countless pineapple slices… yum!

  • Reply Jen September 10, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Ham and pineapple. The combination of sweet and salty is just perfect!

  • Reply Libby September 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I L-O-V-E bacon and cream cheese pizza! The BEST!

  • Reply brianna b September 10, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    canadian bacon and pineapple!!

  • Reply Jeanne Quinn September 10, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Sausage, Peppers & Mushrooms & Garlic….Love It!!!

  • Reply Susana R September 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Black olives,fresh mushrooms,and bacon…yummm

  • Reply Cameron September 10, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Combo supreme

  • Reply cytl September 10, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    margherita pizza

  • Reply butlerj September 10, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Double smoked ham and pineapple are my favorite pizza toppings.

  • Reply Cristi Kersh September 10, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Hot copolla…

  • Reply NeboBeads September 11, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I’m a veggie pizza lover: roasted cauliflower, broccoli, onions & mushrooms & lots of fresh mozz!

  • Reply Gayle Watkins September 11, 2010 at 8:12 am

    My favorite pizza toppings are Italian sauasage, mushrooms and onions!

  • Reply Jacob Voegeli September 11, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I LOVE woodfire shrimp pizza!!

  • Reply sandie reese September 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    proscuitto with jack cheese

  • Reply Catherine September 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    We make our own sauce out of garden tomatoes, fresh basil and olive oil. With grilled onions and a little bit of fresh parmesan, grilled over a wood fire these pizzas are out of this world!

  • Reply MegRuth September 11, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Caramelized onions and Gruyere…mmmm

  • Reply Ani Simmons September 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Most of the pizzarias in Rome offer a “pizza contadina”, which is just mozzarella with whatever vegetables are fresh that day. At my fave pizzaria, you may or may not get sauce on it, depending on who is making the pizza and if he’s fighting with anyone in the kitchen! Either way, it’s fantastico!

  • Reply Shelby September 11, 2010 at 8:45 pm


  • Reply Morgan September 11, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    my absolute favorite pizza is fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano with truffle oil and sea salt. no sauce necessary! possibly the MOST AMAZING pizza I’ve ever had.
    Love it!!!

  • Reply Tina September 12, 2010 at 7:21 am

    I love pineapple and ham on my pizzas. Easy and lovely!

  • Reply Colleen Kane September 12, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Oh my! So hard to choose since pizza and cheese are two of my favorite things on the planet. For cheese I’ll go with a favorite standby, aged gouda, and for pizza I’ll go with a new favorite just made last night: thin-sliced potatoes with mozz, cheddar, onions, olive oil, and a piped-on spiced sour cream. YUM.

  • Reply Trin September 13, 2010 at 10:31 am

    My usual is a meatlovers with black olives and double cheese.Sinful!
    I love anything handforged. The love and sweat that goes into it makes it special.
    TLR33960 at hotmail dot com

  • Reply Casey September 13, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    fresh tomato sauce from my garden, along with fresh mozza, parmesan and romano cheeses, and homemade sausage i buy in town! yummo!

  • Reply Kate M September 13, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Feta, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, red onions.

  • Reply Amber D. September 14, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Fettucini chicken pizza. And my favorite cheese, well I pretty much like most cheeses!

  • Reply Darby Lohrding September 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    I love thin pizza with spinach, cheese, garlic, mushrooms, onion and tons of cheese! If this pizza is not an option then I go for candian bacon and pineapple again on thin crust with tons of cheese! Of course of piece or couple of pieces of garlic cheese bread is never turned down!
    ; )

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  • Reply Renee August 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    My all-time handsdown favorite toping is pineapple – I put a very small amout of pizza sauce on the crust, toss on some shredded mozzerella cheese, then add the pineapple. If there is pineapple juice, I just add that in drizzling it over everything.

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