The Maker: Cream & Concrete

Kaitlan Vosler of Cream & Concrete creates planters and other pieces that are harder than they look.

Tony Valainis

Kaitlan Vosler’s gleaming white planters, serving trays, and other home decor items resemble those made from delicate porcelain. But if you dropped one on your toe, the illusion wouldn’t last long. “It does look like traditional pottery,” Vosler says. “People are always surprised when I tell them, ‘It’s cement!’”

For the Indianapolis-based crafter, what began with a soap-making hobby eventually morphed into a business in another medium. “I was using soap molds, and some planter molds would pop up in my online searches,” she says. “Geometric planters have become popular, and I wanted to make some for myself.”

Vosler decided to try using concrete. She experimented with several mixes before she found an artisan-grade version. “It’s almost claylike when it’s wet,” she says. “It’s made to fit into corners and crevices and still be strong and smooth.”

The pots were so beautiful, she set up an Etsy shop called Cream & Concrete. After gaining traction there and on Instagram, Vosler started selling directly from her own website. Now, retailers in Indiana (Mercantile 37, Fancy Plants, Penn & Beech Candle Co.) and Washington carry her work. Prices range from $15 for coaster sets to $30 and up for trays and large planters.

An orthodontist’s assistant by day, Vosler has employed a few tricks from her job in her creative work. To dislodge stray bubbles in pots, she uses the same vibrating dental tools she does when molding plaster for dental appliances. She pours her specialty cement mix into silicone molds. After 24 hours, she removes the molds and hand-sands any rough spots.

Vosler finishes each item by applying coats of waterproofing and satin sealants. To prevent sliding on furniture, she also affixes tiny rubber feet. “There are a lot of little steps involved in even the smallest planter,” she says. “But my OCD ensures they’re free from imperfections.”