Founded in 2008 by artist Bari Ziperstein, BZIPPY is known for our experimentation and innovation with ceramics. Working tirelessly to develop engineering methods that challenge conventional notions of slab construction, BZIPPY devises creative solutions to both formal designs and technical concerns. The design trade, friends, and fans are drawn to our inventive shapes, unique glazes, and ambitious approach to scale. BZIPPY is a forward-thinking company that evolves according to a dynamic strategic plan and a transparent approach to operations that centers the growth and wellbeing of our team. Our clients include some of the most prominent interior designers working today, and our work can be found in design-forward private homes and in public venues around the world as well as on the pages of taste-making trade publications.
After studying art and women’s studies as an undergraduate and then earning her Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California in 2004, Bari Ziperstein worked primarily in studio-based sculpture and experimental public art. At CalArts, Bari studied with revered conceptual artist Michael Asher, whose method of engaging directly with the physical environments and socioeconomic structures through which artworks circulate was a profound influence. As Bari’s work grew more ambitious, she sought an alternative to the myth that the only viable career path for an artist is through teaching. BZIPPY was conceived as a way to circumvent prescribed notions of success for working artists and is built on Bari’s innate creativity mixed with ideas inspired by conceptual art and intersectional feminist principles.
Over the past decade, the company has produced both intimately sized and architecturally scaled ceramic vases, vessels, lamps, and furniture, often made in limited editions. The studio now focuses on several categories of creative output, including BZIPPY. linesheet production ceramics, BZ Collectible Design, and Bari’s unique artworks, seen most recently in a one-person exhibition at Charles Moffett Gallery in New York City. New in 2019 is a series of one of a kind ceramic furniture and architecturally scaled planters produced exclusively for and available only through The Future Perfect.
Contact the studio for inquiries about trade pricing, wholesale orders, and commissions.
Instagram | @BZIPPY
CEO and Creative Director
Assistant Director of Sales & Operations
Nataliya Kotlova received an MA in Art Business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art in 2021 and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016, where she worked primarily in ceramics and fibers. Her trajectory in the fine arts led her to a position at Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago, IL where she was the director for 4 years. Her interest in art and design, as well as business, shaped into a passion for working closely with folks in the creative industry to aid in the strategic development of one's practice or business. Often focusing on alternative or holistic models, Kotlova aims to facilitate dialogues about sustainable business practices that are rooted in unique values for the creative industry. Her favorite part about working at BZIPPY is being a part of a robust team and helping to fuel a growth that is funneled back into its team's wellbeing.
I was born and raised in Ojai, CA and now live in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. When I’m not working, I love cooking and eating (LA is such a great city for so many kinds of food) and going hiking with my dog. I completed a BA in Liberal Arts from Bennington College, where I studied ceramics, painting, and architecture. I’m most interested in making things I can wear and use. Right now I’m teaching myself how to quilt and build soft furniture pieces.
After graduating, I worked in a ceramic studio for about a year before switching gears to work in interior design, but I missed the studio environment and found myself at BZIPPY. I think I fell in love with clay because it appeals to so many different parts of my personality. The problem-solving appeals to the scientist in me, but I love how physical clay is; the work requires that you really use your body. I’m also someone who loves to decorate and make beautiful things that can be handled and used, so clay has always felt like a natural material for me to work with. From day one, I’ve really appreciated how transparent Bari is about her goals for the business and how each team member fits into that vision. I think it gives a real sense of purpose and ownership to our work.
Lead of Prefabrication
I was born and raised in Madison, WI and now live in south central Los Angeles. My favorite thing about living in Los Angeles is the proximity to nature. Before moving to Los Angeles, I lived in Chicago where I received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute Chicago and worked as a fabricator for several art and design studios, museums, and galleries. Outside of work, I have a personal dance practice and work with my wife designing and producing clothing.
I love to work hands-on with different materials, and I’m excited by the opportunity to learn how to build with clay. My favorite part of working with clay slabs is burnishing leather-hard pieces to become smooth and shiny. At BZIPPY, I enjoy the energy of the studio as well as the space to learn and grow.
Lead of Fabrication (Larges)
Nacho Sedono (b. Guadalajara, Mexico) is the Lead of Fabrication at BZIPPY. He started
working with ceramics in high school and went on to receive a BA in Ceramics from the
University of Colorado, Boulder. He gained experience working as the Studio Technician at the
CU Boulder ceramic studios and working for other artists at RedLine Contemporary Art Center
in Denver. After graduating, Nacho moved back home to Los Angeles and started his studio
practice where he designed and made his own wood-fired kiln to fully create, glaze, and fire in-
Nacho has received several awards including a Fellowship from the California Arts Council and
has shown his work around Southern California. Nacho currently resides in Watts with his three
huskies named Luna, Oliver, and Athena.
Diego Ortiz (b. Los Angeles, CA) is currently a Fabricator for BZIPPY. After growing up in
Wilmington, Diego attended CSU Dominguez Hills where he took a course in wheel-throwing
which cemented his interest in ceramics. Diego also has varied experiences in prop making,
woodworking, and the Aerospace field which have informed his wide-ranging abilities. He notes
that there is always something new to explore in Los Angeles from the great food to the beach
to the mountains, and he feels the same way about working with clay - that there is always
something new to learn.
Glaze and Kilns Associate
Natalie Cruz (b. Bellflower, CA) is the Kilns and Glaze Associate at BZIPPY. She received her
BFA in Drawing and Painting from CSULB and holds an Interior Design Assistant Certificate.
Most recently, she has shown her own work in FULL BLEDE and with Young Space.
Aside from making her own work, Natalie has been a painting assistant for artists and has
taught children in after-school art programs. Most of her professional experience is with
painting, however, the unpredictability of ceramics is something that drew her. The overlaps
between painting and ceramics in terms of their playfulness and limitlessness have ignited a
desire to work with new mediums in her personal practice. While she loves moody
thunderstorms and a good scary movie, Natalie also loves comedy and analyzing the Bachelor
Junior Lead of Quality Control
Stephanie Gamarra (b. Miami, FL) studied architecture at Design and Architecture Senior High
and then moved on to Painting when she attended Pratt Institute & Hunter College for Fine Art.
This foundation laid the groundwork for an interest in a career in the arts. While in Miami and then New York City, Stephanie cut her teeth working at galleries and as a studio assistant, ultimately gaining an interest in ceramics.
Stephanie works as the Junior Lead of Quality Control at BZIPPY, and loves that there is always
something to learn, especially when you get to smash something and start over. She
appreciates the humbleness she and her colleagues all carry as they continue to innovate and
push the boundaries of design.
She is currently studying Storyboard for Feature Animation and enjoying Los Angeles’s Spanish
culture and funky architecture.
Photography / Shipping & Receiving Associate
Jacob Melchi (b. Fort Wayne, IN) currently lives in Long Beach, CA. He received his BFA in
photography from Arizona State University and his MFA in Painting/New Genres from Otis
College of Art and Design. Jacob’s interest in ceramics started as an undergraduate; he loved
learning to build and paint with clay, and the physicality of the medium helped him find his way
He started to pursue a career in academia after graduate school but became more interested in
the art world and worked as the Studio Manager for the artist Charles (Chuck) Arnoldi for nearly
15 years. He has exhibited his paintings and continues his work in the art world through running
a project space called “Jacob’s” that he started in a backyard garden and has expanded to
exhibitions and pop-up shows in other locations.
When it comes to Los Angeles, Jacob loves the food and year-round Motorcycle riding weather.
While not working as the Photography / Shipping & Receiving Associate at BZIPPY, he
fantasizes about starting a motorcycle club with other LA artists who ride.