President & Creative Director
After graduating with 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 & Co. 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 borrowed and enacted from conceptual art and feminist principles.
Lead of Prefabrication
I was born in Los Angeles and raised in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Living in Los Angeles, the city offers lots of culture--art, comedy, museums, music, festivals--and also lots of nature--the ocean, mountains, desert, forests, hills. As a USC undergrad, I studied anthropology and fine art and received an MFA in art from UCLA. I first sculpted with aluminum foil and oven-bake clay as a child, in addition to drawing obsessively. I took ceramics classes throughout high school and focused on sculpture in college. I took an interest in helping educate future generations and worked as a teacher and tutor for two years in Houston before returning to Los Angeles for a Masters in Fine Art in Ceramics.
After graduating, I began working for BZippy & Co. and continue to develop my work in ceramic sculpture and performance. I love creating refined objects out of the basic elements of earth and water, transforming them with air and fire in a process that stretches back to the beginning of humanity and that forges objects that last for millennia. I like the friendly yet structured atmosphere at BZippy & Co., and I have time to work on my own art on the weekends. It’s great to experience the intricacies of the art and design worlds firsthand and to learn about how to navigate these paths.
Lead of Smalls
I was born in San Diego, CA and grew up in Carlsbad, CA. I was introduced to clay as a means of creating at a very young age by my father, a ceramicist and educator. I learned from him that clay can be an extension of the body and mind of the craftsperson. Though there are sometimes tools involved, there is no major separation between hand and material. Working at BZippy & Co. gives me the opportunity to use and refine my skills in making in this way that I love. I take pride in the work that I do and find exceptional fulfillment in making exceptional objects.
Lead of Glaze and Kilns
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 & Co. 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 grew up mainly in West Harlem and for a year in Roswell, NM but currently reside in Eagle Rock. I’m a photographer so I appreciate the beautiful light in Los Angeles – as having completed a BA in photography from Bard College. Professionally with a background in academic program administration and logistics lead me to work extensively with artists and photographers.
I’ve loved ceramics all my life. My dad was an artist who worked with materials like wood, paper, clay, and glass, and he taught me hand-building and wheel-throwing from a young age. I enjoy working with my hands and the problem solving required to figure out how to build something out of clay The best thing about working at BZippy & Co. is the team—my coworkers. I am lucky to be working alongside a group of smart, kind, talented artists – where we push the limitations of the material and build things that seem impossible without a team effort.