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

Bari Ziperstein of BZippy shares the top items that are bringing style and sustenance to her life in Los Angeles.
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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.

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."

Design Works Ink Textured Paper Twin Wire Bound Notebook No. 1
Design Works Ink was founded in 2014 by a group of dedicated and talented individuals that are as passionate about journals as they are great design. Their mission is to create products that are beautifully designed and also provide exceptional quality.

"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."

Mudtools Shape 5 Polymer Rib
From the brand:  Shape 5 is the same traditional kidney-shape as Shapes 0 & 1, only bigger. It offers more surface coverage, making it great for smoothing a slab of clay. All of our polymer ribs are made of unique flexible materials that are resistant to wear and the formation of burrs.

"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."

The central argument of Chromophobia is that a chromophobic impulse - a fear of corruption or contamination through color - lurks within much Western cultural and intellectual thought.

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."

Roucha Paya Mod Denim
Our newest and favorite denim style. Bowleg shape. Five pocket denim. Angled side seams and extra panel on outside of leg gives this pant a great, architectural shape. Front pockets. Back patch pockets. Denim button and zip fly. Belt loops.

"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."

Camper Drift Sneaker
White sneaker for women. Leather upper with white laces. White 70% EVA and 30% rubber outsoles.

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

Adidas x Marimekko Socks - 3 Pairs
One of the founding beliefs of Finnish design house Marimekko is that women should be able to run in a dress if they so choose. By the same token, you're free to wear these juniors' adidas socks, well, anywhere you please.

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

Legier Black Onyx With Diamond Round Stone Signet Pendant and Necklace
From Utah, Black Onyx is synonymous with absorbing negative energy and preventing the loss of one's own personal energy. Onyx is a master stone in times of stress or grief. Also, it is excellent for meditation and dreaming.

"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."

L.A. Eyeworks Lagos Glasses
Custom sculpting defines the distinctive browline of LAGOS, invoking a classic '60s executive vibe rendered in bold, modern crystals and solids.  ...

"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."

Building Block Business Purse
A work appropriate purse in structural smooth black leather. Resin lined interior. Rubber handles with brass hardware. Rubber cord shoulder straps with ornamental leather tassels. Seamless magnetic closure. Fits up to a 13" laptop.

"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!"

Away The Bigger Carry-On Flex
Sized to accompany you on your way (plus fit in anything extra), The Bigger Carry-On Flex allows you to pack it all in. Making room for items you didn’t necessarily plan for, this hardside suitcase expands to reveal an additional 2.25" of space available when fully flexed—perfect for those...

"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."

Machete Grande Heirloom Claw in Tortoise Checker
Elegant, reinforced, double-walled design and hand-screwed made to last a lifetime.

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."

Areaware Hex Vase
A geometric vase inspired by Brutalist design, featuring stacked hexagonal shapes from Los Angeles-based ceramic design studio, BZippy. This piece mirrors notable elements of the designer's signature Hex planter series, adapted for the glass production of this collection of vases.

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

Hay Matin Table Lamp
Known for works that display a lightness of touch and a bold personality, Inga Sempé created a lamp that strikes a romantic note, on or off.

"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."

BZippy LG Diamond GLoss Red Vase
Made to order, 10–14 week lead time. ...

"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."

BZippy Almost Teal Double Tier Side Table
Individual side tables are unique in size, glaze, and shape.

"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."

MoMA Classic Lawn Chair
From 4th of July fireworks to well-appointed campsites, the aluminum frame folding chair is an all-American classic. This Classic Lawn Chair is an upgraded version of a retro favorite, made in the USA. The hand-assembled design is made in small batches with care at a family-run workshop.

We love the products we feature and hope you do, too. If you buy something through a link on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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