Colour defines LA ceramics studio and showroom of Bari Ziperstein
Step inside the multifunctional ceramics studio, office and showroom of designer and artist Bari Ziperstein, designed by local firm Foss Hildreth
While Bari Ziperstein might not quite be a household name, you are likely to have already admired the distinctive assemblages of primitive, sculptural forms that she creates under the moniker Bzippy. Established in 2008, Ziperstein’s experimental ceramics practice has since grown to encompass furniture, sculpture, objects and larger, art-driven installations, which all riff on her inventive use of shapes, glazes and slab construction that have together created a unique signature.
With her fine art practice growing in recognition, the Los Angeles-based Ziperstein has moved into a new 9,000 sq ft production studio, office and showroom that will bring all her enterprises under one roof.
Overseen by the local design firm Foss Hildreth, the space enables Ziperstein to have a dedicated production room, eight production kilns, a product photography studio and an inventory and fulfilment warehouse on the premises, with room to spare. It will also house administration, development, production and other facets of Ziperstein’s businesses.
‘It has been a lifelong dream to grow the studio space in a way that sustainably nurtures all three aspects of my practice,’ she says. ‘Because the studio is a hybrid space and was to contain both our offices and production floor, we wanted to treat each with the utmost consideration.
‘The kitchen, break room, and office spaces also evolved into a sort of showroom space, allowing us to showcase our works to visitors. I knew that I wanted to work with Luke [Foss] and Ashley [Hildreth] of Foss Hildreth, as I previously worked with them individually at The Future Perfect; I was drawn to their design sensibility, vintage expertise, and fresh take on colour.’
Given Ziperstein’s love of colour, Italian acrylic furniture and lighting from the 1960s and 1970s, Foss Hildreth sought out pieces by Joe Colombo and Vico Magistretti to be placed alongside custom furniture by the label Waka Waka – a fellow Los Angeles studio.
Durable and playful in equal parts, the space serves as an eyecatching stage for both known and previously unseen work. Bzippy light sconces, the studio’s first, line a hallway and the walls of a sales office. In Ziperstein’s office, a desk is reserved for her seven-year-old son, with whom she shares the workspace.
‘Our objective was for clients to feel fully immersed in Bari’s world as they enter the studio,’ says Foss. ‘Bari is known for her colourful glazes, so we injected bright sophisticated hues throughout the offices and lounge space; worlds away from the production studio on the other side of the wall.’
Ziperstein adds, ‘Since we produce everything on-site, we are always covered in clay or clay dust. Incorporating surfaces and furniture that were durable and could be wiped down was key. This way our team has a place to take their breaks in a space that wasn’t too precious to interact with but still captured the aesthetic of the studio. Luke and Ashley developed a custom vinyl banquette with our very own custom bistro tables and furnished the space with vintage plastic chairs from Kartell and Joe Colombo.
‘One of my favourite aspects of the studio is the plants throughout the space, installed in our Bzippy planters by Lizzie [Royale] of Pop Dirt LA. Lizzie used a variety of rare specimens sourced from Southern California and beyond, highlighting drought-tolerant plants and cacti that emphasise the sculptural aspects of their surroundings at the studio.’