When we last met Bari Ziperstein, his studio was much smaller, but no less a well-oiled machine: “My design practice helps my team and I hone our skills, gain dexterity with materials and to experiment with craftsmanship and engineering,” the Los Angeles ceramist recounted Surface. “When called upon – whether for an exhibition or the need to make art myself – we all have these skills at our fingertips.” Ditto when it came time to modernize his original base, which involved expanding his studio into a 9,000 square foot ceramic workshop and creating a brand new showroom to better serve the multiple branches of his practice. There’s BZIPPY, his furniture and homeware brand; BZ Collectible design, which mainly serves the interior design trade; and his artistic practice that transforms his iconic vessels into captivating canvases that nod to Soviet visual culture.

Ziperstein enlisted longtime friends Luke Foss and Ashley Hildreth of local company Foss Hildreth – alumni of The Future Perfect, his collectible design gallery – in envisioning an overall installation that stays true to its colorful aesthetic while remaining practical for the dynamic needs of an evolving ceramic workshop. “It has long been my dream to develop the studio space in a way that sustainably nurtures all three aspects of my practice,” says Ziperstein. And the newly expanded space does the trick. Not only does this greatly expand its dedicated production floor, but it makes room for a glaze department, eight production kilns, a photography studio, and an inventory and fulfillment warehouse. In the showroom, she now has a kitchen and break room for staff and visitors, her own private office and meeting space for clients.

“Our goal was for clients to feel completely immersed in the world of Bari when they enter the studio,” explains Foss. “Bari is known for its colorful glazes, so we’ve injected bright, sophisticated hues into the offices and lounge space: worlds away from the production studio on the other side of the wall.” She and her staff are also covered in ceramic dust throughout the day. Foss Hildreth therefore eschewed upholstery and rugs in favor of hard-surfaced furniture and accessories that could be easily wiped down. Rare pieces by Gae Aulenti, Joe Colombo and Vico Magistretti testify to his lifelong love of Italian acrylic furniture and lighting from the 1960s and 1970s; they mingle with his own custom works alongside those of his tight-knit community of creators in Los Angeles, including Waka Waka, Dan John Anderson, Peter Shire, Michael Felix and Kalon Studios.

Below, Ziperstein shares five of his favorite items from his new showroom.

Custom sconces

The studio produced custom sconces for the hallway and sales office to complement the Foss Hildreth interiors. This was our first time working on sconces, so it was a great opportunity to experiment with scale and form. In the hallway, they look like a cut-out iron building. We chose a green crystalline glaze to showcase a mix of matte and gloss finishes, creating a weathered quality that contrasts nicely with the Calico Wallpaper‘s soft green hues.

The sconces in the sales office look more like seashells; they’re a nice visual reprieve with monochromatic tones made from sliced ​​oval clay extrusions. We chose a white glaze to create a strong contrast with the cobalt blue wall paint. Overall, the sconces are a big hit because the manufacturing process was difficult and required a lot of troubleshooting.


Custom tiles / cabinet handles

We wanted to highlight some of the studio’s capabilities beyond our furniture and tabletop work, so we also produced custom backsplash tiles and cabinet handles for the kitchen and offices. We developed the backsplash tiles in collaboration with Foss Hildreth; it was an experimental process that required a series of renders and tests. We have played with many new techniques to create handmade flat ceramic tiles. We chose the colors from our color palette – a fun afternoon planning session with Luke and Ashley to strike a balance between texture and color.

The cabinet and drawer pulls were made in collaboration with my seven year old son, Lawrence. These are little pinch jars of various sizes that we made together on a quiet Sunday in the studio. Lawrence sculpted various smiley faces and characters in the clay, and we decided to glaze them in a monochromatic chrome green. They add a playful contrast to our cabinets and are such a pleasant surprise when approaching them! Lawrence was thrilled to see them installed, and I’m so proud to include his work in the studio.


Wooden side tables by Dan John Anderson

I feel a great connection to Dan’s turned side tables, especially because they’re made in Joshua Tree, where I spend a lot of time with my family. With their faceted forms and repetitive forms, there is a familiar visual language in my own ceramic works. Including works by my peers was very important to us when designing the space, ensuring that we were surrounded by our community at the studio.


Office desk/table by Waka Waka Studios

I’ve always envisioned a Waka Waka desk in my office, so when the opportunity arose, I was thrilled to order a custom piece. Tibia [Okuda] is a longtime friend and peer in the design world, so it was very meaningful to include his work in my office. We chose a lime green tabletop together to complement the brown walls, and it’s the most delicious pop of color in my office.


Cloud Cream Side Tables by BZIPPY

These small side tables were initial prototypes for new additions to our catalog, launching at ICFF in May 2022. We wanted to expand the scale of our catalog pieces to allow for more size options – these two side tables booster are extra-small versions of the three-tier Double and Cloud. We’re excited to launch these and offer more variety from our core collection! Above the table is one of my son’s flower pots, made during one of our Sunday sessions.

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