Marcello Rotar from Assembly Bespoke

Words: Manuela Millan
Photos: Caitlin Mills Photography

Marcello Rotar was always interested in furniture design. A few years ago, while in between jobs, Marcello started making furniture from materials he could find, bits of timber that people had given him, and what he had collected over the years.

I always liked working with my hands and making things - designing things and then trying to work out ways to make them.
— Marcello Rotar

He began selling his pieces on ebay, and using that money to buy tools, equipment and more materials.

It slowly started to snowball into some shops in Melbourne. I was lucky enough that one of the shops, Mark Tuckey, on Johnson Street, really loved what I was doing and so they started ordering some furniture for me to sell in their showroom. I was blown away by that.

From that point he was able to fully devote himself to furniture design. He was able to buy the equipment he needed for his business.

Marcello now shares a workshop in Brunswick where he makes bespoke furniture and custom pieces during the day, and is able relax by the fire and design at night.

He is primary set up to do woodwork and metalwork, and he also does works with leather, but his favourite material is timber.




Meanwhile In Melbourne Studio 11-11 7LR.jpg
I’d rather do woodwork any day - pick up metal in the wintertime and your fingers are constantly numb.
— Marcello Rotar

He has enjoyed working in the past with sculptors, interior designers, product designers and architects. He enjoys the process of working through initial ideas and discovering how they can be made.

It is always good fun because it's nice to see what other people are coming up with. It's nice that you want it to look that way, but can it be made? Can that chair be designed and strong, and stay up and will it last a lifetime?

Good craftsmanship and honest design are important to him and he has an appreciation for quality materials and techniques.

I like furniture to be super functional. I also like it to be quite clean and simple. I like the idea that you can see the construction elements, rather than trying to hide the way something is put together.

This extends to his preference of tools. He has collected a range of old-school woodworking machinery.

All my machines are very old, very beautiful, and they're starting to become collectible in their own right.Everything about them is tactile and cool, whereas all the modern stuff is all plastic and shiny, and there's a stripe on it and it's like "well that's pointless".


MM: Where do you get the best coffee and food in Melbourne?

MR: Cassati's deli. Best coffee for sure, 100%.
I also like Rumi at the moment, hard to hate that place.

MM: What are you excited for in 2018?

MR: I would like to start making a range of products. At the moment it's all been one- offs, and while that's great and it's fun, it's probably not the most efficient. My future plan is to start doing more stuff for me, more products that I want to see, and then sell it on a small-batch basis.

The plan will be to have a showroom space in here, by appointment.