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©Maja Danica Pečanić
©Marija Gašparović
©Tarna Putina
©Marko Mihaljević

Sanja Rotter

  • Cabinetmaker
  • Zagreb, Croatia
  • Rising Star
Sanja Rotter Cabinetmaker
Croatian, English, German
By appointment only
+385 13669369

From industrial design to woodcraft

  • • Sanja has a formal education in industrial design
  • • She uses local wood and collaborates with a network of craftspeople
  • • Her mentor was a local master carpenter

Sanja Rotter first started her professional career after graduating as an industrial designer from the School of Design. Like many other students in Croatia, the situation in which she found herself forced her to make a decision to go in a different direction and to become a designer/maker. “After finishing school, I came to the workshop of master carpenter Darko Franjić and said I had no work or money. We started collaborating and we still work together up to this day. I learned a lot in his workshop, I see him as my mentor and I'll be forever grateful for his contribution to everything I am today.” In her work as both a designer and craftsperson, Sanja combines the best of the two fields: cultural heritage and traditional production technologies with experimentation and re-interpreting through innovative concepts.

Read the full interview


  • ©Adriana Pavelić
  • ©Adriana Pavelić
  • ©Marko Mihaljević
  • ©Duga Bobanović
  • ©Marko Vilipić
Photo: ©Adriana Pavelić

This urn is handcrafted from olive and fossilised oak wood. Besides the beautiful colour effects naturally given by this wood, the choice of wood is connected to the rich symbolism of olive and bog oak. Olive represents longevity, God's mercy and peace, while the thousands of years old bog oak signifies death, hope and resurrection. The sketch was drawn instantly, as a single design version with practically no alterations, using traditional wood turning techniques.

Height 19.5 cm
Diameter 10.5 cm

Photo: ©Adriana Pavelić

This sideboard was designed by Sanja Rotter as a student assignment during her design studies. The sideboard was made in collaboration with Trokut Novska, a company that makes solid wood furniture, mostly from Slavonian oak. The form is inspired by the organic lines naturally found on oak wood, as well as traditional solid wood furniture construction.

Length 150 cm
Width 43 cm
Height 73 cm

Photo: ©Marko Mihaljević
Rot furniture system

This table is part of an exploration of objects shaped using traditional turning technologies, but differently - such as with a rotate programme command - to achieve new, unexpected results and forms. The aim was to achieve an authentic Croatian design that accepts its own tradition, culture and collective memory, aware of its own identity without referring to dominant foreign trends and narratives in design.

Length 45 cm
Width 45 cm
Height 45 cm

Photo: ©Duga Bobanović

This chair was handcrafted by Sanja Rotter from beech wood as part of a school assignment that revolved around the theme of a wooden chair.

Length 45 cm
Width 45 cm
Height 84 cm

Photo: ©Marko Vilipić
Montenegro Wall (Montenegro lighting system)

These entrance lighting fixtures were made for Regent Pool Club Residences in Porto Montenegro, a luxury yacht marina in Tivat, Montenegro. Two design versions were made, inspired by Yugoslav socialist hotel facilities as well as luxurious Art Deco aesthetics. The mirror is handcrafted from a combination of stainless steel and satin finished acrylic.

Length 30 cm
Width 15 cm
Height 60 cm

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