Art and function come together in the “Sota” cast-iron skillet created by Milwaukee artist Alisa Toninato at her FeLion Studios — Fe being the periodic symbol for iron and Lion reflecting her astrological sign of Leo. After a residency at Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota, Toninato returned home to start her own iron foundry. A Wisconsin skillet inspired a series of Midwest skillets. That led to a 550-pound “map” of the 48 contiguous states that finished in the top 25 among 1,700 artists competing in the ArtPrize 2011 show. Now the American Skillet Co. in Madison, Wis., is offering skillets in the shape of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. The “Sota” has a 7- by 5 ½-inch pre-seasoned cooking surface and weighs a bit more than 4 pounds. For $125, it could be a distinctive gift for a special cook. To order, visit