Uptown Concrete Design is Douglas Kistler, a concrete artisan in central Illinois. It is a result of my continuous discovery that artisan concrete has no equivalent in its ability to be made into so many things of great beauty, integrity, and personality. Perhaps you are already aware of the subtle differences between things that are interesting, handmade, or uncommon, and things that are ordinary or imitation. Then you are probably also aware that your everyday experiences can be enhanced by affinity and connection when you engage with things and spaces that are interesting and special. This is what I think about when designing and creating concrete pieces.

I started this journey in 2004, learning to make concrete countertops for kitchens and baths that I was remodeling. What I noticed immediately was a warm, rustic, handmade quality. And what I discovered later was the irregular and imperfect qualities that help one develop empathy with the material. Concrete was exactly what other countertop materials were not – interesting, unique, handcrafted, and “hand”-designed. As I invested further in forming, and mold making skills, the potential to design and make different shapes, add useful, integrated elements, and incorporate other materials, became apparent. This ability has opened the possibility to design and make sinks, furniture, tiles, fireplaces, planters, bars, figures, water features, and things I haven’t thought of yet.