How to Stylishly Blend Form and Function, According to a Ceramics Artist

Whether it’s for exhibition in a gallery or a line of functional home ceramics, artist Bari Ziperstein has always been pushing the limits of ceramic design. Her work is experimental, whimsical—and definitely on our wishlist.

After earning her masters at the California Institute of the Arts in 2004, Ziperstein worked primarily with sculpture and public art before setting her sights on ceramics. Since 2008, her studio has produced a smorgasbord of ceramic work for art shows and her housewares and furnishings brand, BZippy.

In April, she opened the doors to a massive new showroom and production facility in Los Angeles that also houses her fine art practice, office, and gallery. The highly shoppable space can be visited by appointment or online.

We spoke to the artist about the objects, accessories, and art tools that make her feel right at home.

Bari Ziperstein is a Los Angeles–based ceramic artist.

Tools of the Trade

“I love this notebook from my local bookstore Vroman’s in Pasadena. It has dates at the top that are handy for taking notes and reviewing past meeting projects.”

“Mudtools was started by a potter who saw a gap in the market for a wider variety of rib tools. These tools are essential for what we make every day at the studio, and I use them every day.”

“This book was formative to my practice back in grad school. It helped me establish a language for my use of color and developed my understanding of the psychology of color in decor.”

Dressing the Part

“These are my uniform. I have them in every color. I love their inclusive sizing and progressive sizing charts. I’m essentially always dressed in Roucha.”

“Also my uniform. The range of colors adds to a sort of color blocking in my day-to-day style. I love that they’re monochrome. I’ve been wearing Campers in one way or another since I was a teenager.”

“I love statement socks and Marimekko is one of my favorite brands. Their collaboration was such a pleasant surprise!”

“Legier is an amazing Los Angeles–based designer. I’m really into her color blocking designs, and I never take my necklace off!”

“L.A. Eyeworks is my go-to for unique frames. They’re a staple in L.A. and the owners are literal icons in the art and design community.”

“Building Block’s accessories complement everything in my closet; structured, minimal, but still a statement. I bought my Building Block purse with my best friend, Jill, so it also holds a special memory for me.”

“I bought a set of Away suitcases for my 2018 trip to New Zealand, for my family and me. They’ve proven to be resilient and love the new expandable medium size one too!”

“My husband and son bought me a clip from Machete for Mother’s Day one year, so they’re very special to me. Their clips are stylish, sophisticated, and always good on the go.”

Some Standout Objets

“This piece was an incredible collaboration, and I’m thrilled to be included in Areaware’s roster of designers. We don’t make anything in glass at BZippy, so this was a very fun departure from our regular material and an exercise in translating our designs.”

“The forest green lampshade is so beautiful. It’s so lightweight and comes packaged so nicely. I have one at my studio desk.”

“This was one of the first pieces I ever designed for BZippy, so it’s definitely one of our signature works. It can be a standalone sculptural object or be used for an ikebana arrangement.”

“This was one of the first BZippy furniture pieces I designed, so it has a very special place in my heart. It can be used as a side table or stool, and Almost Teal has become one of our signature glazes over the past few years.”

“My husband and I built out a new deck at our house, and it was completely empty when it was done. We needed some chairs that were at an approachable price point and could be collapsible for different arrangements, and these were perfect! I take them to my son’s soccer practice, too.”

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