Michael Ogle was born and bred in Perth, Western Australia.
Having been raised by an accomplished carpenter father, the pursuit of a career in construction proved inevitable.
On completion of schooling at Scarborough Senior High School, Michael began trade studies at Technical College and went on to complete a 4 year bricklaying apprenticeship. In addition to his fathers teachings, Michael established vital understanding and qualifications in Western Australia’s residential and commercial construction industry.
A seven month sabbatical ensued, a sojourn through many of the islands of Indonesia by land and sea onwards to the country of Myanmar. Michael’s keen open mindedness paved the way for strong relations and an intimate knowledge of the local customs and cultures, gaining great insight into rich diversities of communities and their habitations and hand crafts, particularly fabrics hand crafted on traditional looms.
With a deepened appreciation for the hand crafted, Michael returned to Australia to embark on one of his largest projects to date, the construction of his hand made, three storey organic house. A project that had been on the drawing board since he was 18 years old and began construction in 2001 on a forest rich property in Margaret River, Western Australia.
And so, with the freedom to explore the local natural materials of South Western Australia and a keen desire for them to be honestly represented and implemented in the construction of his home, a new apprenticeship began...and a philosophical dream became a realisation.
Realising the potential of the vernacular resources around us and skillfully portraying their beauty and functional relevance became Michael’s principal directive.
As the cathartic process of crafting the earthen manor unraveled, new found appreciations for the local resources fuelled further hand craft pursuits.
Further world travels were embarked upon. This time to Mauritius and South Africa. A volunteer project with a local community near the border of Mozambique creating better drinking water facilities and building earthen dwellings was a memorable event.
Inroads into Michael’s stonemasonry career were made near Dresden, Germany. Working alongside a passionate Steinmetz Meister (Master Stonemason), Michael’s introduction to the world of stonemasonry was underway. Working with the media of Germany’s sandstone and granite was a certified treat.
On return to Margaret River, an opportunity presented itself to work along side Michael’s greatest mentor to date. An unassuming local stonemason with a similar background in bricklaying, yet a meticulous approach and festidious care for the stone and projects at hand. With a plethora of Margaret River granite and a variety of Western Australian sandstone at hand, the scene was set to establish a deeper appreciation for the stone craft and a refinement and honing of skills played out.
With a firm foundation established in stonemasonry and construction in general, Michael has since been exploring and practicing stonemasonry on his own terms, developing his own unique style he refers to as “bone dry“. A style that allows him to achieve textures and scale as intriguing and effective at arms length as it is from afar.