In ancient times cooking tools were not made of metals, but of clay or soapstone. The first metal to be used for this purpose was bronze, probably followed by iron in the Middle Ages, both of them molded by casting. Adding handles to clay pots was not difficult, but it wasn’t that easy with soapstone. It was only in Medieval times that Italian craftsmen of the regions of Valtellina and Valchiavenna started to hoop their “laveggi” with wrought iron frames. Copper pans came about during the Renaissance, and have been largely used until the 19th century. It’s likely since then that craftsmen started to replace the iron frames with copper ones, which were more easily wrought.