Learn about Castle, Len

Born in 1924, Len Castle completed a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Auckland in 1946. He was introduced to pottery at night classes while training to be a secondary school teacher. His career path turned after he won a scholarship to study with master potter Bernard Leach in St Ives, Cornwall. During this period, recalled Castle, he absorbed a strong work ethic and became strongly drawn to the Oriental aesthetic. Castle returned from England to a job teaching science at Auckland Teachers' College. In 1963, he left the Teachers' College and became a professional potter, and in the same year, was instrumental in establishing the New Zealand Society of Potters. In 1966, he won a Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council fellowship, which he used to go to Japan and Hawaii. His trip cemented his love of Japanese pottery. In 1986, Castle was made a Commander of the British Empire and in 1990, he received a New Zealand Commemorative Medal, and in 2003 was made a Distinguished Companion of the NZ Order of Merit. Len Castle died in 2011.

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Len Castle, rare and unusual Crum Brickworks salt glazed bottle vase, the salt glaze with an unusual 'Flambé' look achieved by a blend of titanium and vanadium, LC mark. Height 18.5 cm. Provenance: originally purchased from the Wellington architect

Len Castle, stoneware bottle vase, with green glaze and textured surface, incised initials. Height 30 cm

Len Castle NZ studio pottery stoneware vase, with brown and neutral glazed tones, height 14.5 cm approx

Len Castle, blue orb vase, in rich blue barium glaze with turquoise highlights, circa 1990s, LC mark, height 13 cm

Len Castle, bottle vase, in the Japanese manner with tenmoku glaze and wax resist quince blossom motifs on a pearlescent brown ground, circa 1980, C mark, height 30 cm. Illustrated: craft New Zealand, Doreen Blumhardt and Brian brake, 1981, page 247 and Le

Len Castle, large and impressive discoid vase, in iron oxide washed stoneware with three rope impressions to each side, circa 1970, C mark, height 45 cm

Len Castle, crumb Brickworks stoneware vase, tall cylindrical form with rich golden brown slip. Glazed at the crumb Brickworks, circa 1951, C mark, height 28 cm. Provenance: from the collection of Nancy Beck, purchased at the Albany village Potters Collect

Len Castle, crumb Brickworks squat ovoid vase, with mid brown manganese slip and salt glaze. Glazed at the crumb brickworks, circa 1954, Castellated mark, height 16 cm, illustrated Cone ten Down: the Studio movement in New Zealand pottery 1945-1980 by Moyr

Len Castle, crumb Brickworks ovoid vase, with mid brown manganese slip and salt glaze. Glazed at the crumb Brickworks, circa 1950, C mark, height 22 cm

Len Castle, “Helen Mason” vase, 1958, Triparte vase with cylindrical base and ovoid centre section and conical neck in oatmeal grey glaze with brown motif to the centre, height 27 cm, Used on the poster to advertise the New Zealand Studio potte

Len Castle, early squat hexagonal vase, with flared rim in rich tenmoku glaze, circa 1958, C mark, height 17 cm

Len Castle, stoneware blossom vase, with tenmoku glaze with jun glaze to the shoulders and neck. This example is the last one of these made in June 1995 by special order for the vendor, LC mark, height 57 cm

Len Castle, ovoid vase, with rolled neck in various barium blue glazes, circa 1990s, LC mark, height 23 cm

Len Castle, ovoid stoneware vase, with fire symbol motif in green/grey ash glazes with, 1960s, C mark, height 23 cm

Len Castle, cylindrical stoneware vase, in heavily textured iron oxide washed stoneware with dark green ash glaze interior, 1960s, C mark, height 19 cm

Len Castle, early stoneware gourd form bottle vase, in white and brown glazed stoneware, rope indentations to the body, early 1960s, C mark, width 24 cm

Len Castle, double necked orb vase, in heavily textured oxide washed stoneware, 1980s, LC mark, width 20 cm

Len Castle, small discoid vase, with three rope impressions to each face and iron oxide washed in rich brown, c1960s, C mark, height 33 cm

Len Castle, large gourd form bottle vase, with gnarled rim and scored sides in heavy feldspathic matt white glaze with blue and brown highlights, mid 1960s, C mark, diameter 41 cm. Refer Len Castle Potter, page 36.

Len Castle, large rectangular slab vase, in heavy colonial shino and feldspathic glazes, circa 1990, LC mark, height 35 cm

Len Castle, stoneware hanging vase, with white ash glaze, unmarked. Height 28 cm

Len Castle, stoneware sedge grass vase, with five apertures, with textured surface, impressed initials. Width 27.5 cm

Len Castle, large stoneware vase, with ash brown and grey glazes, impressed initials. Height 33 cm

Len Castle, press moulded discoid vase, with burnt umber pigmented surface, impressed mark. Height 35 cm

Len Castle, stoneware globular vase, with textured umber pigmented surface, impressed initials. Height 18 cm

Len Castle, Discoid vase, impressed mark, 35 cm, height

Len Castle, double aperture vase, impressed mark, 16 cm dia

Len Castle, small ovoid vase. Height 10 cm. Provenance: collection Castle family collection

Len Castle, stoneware bottle vase, c. 1979, with rare fractured glaze height 16 cm

Len Castle, early stoneware shaped vase, with light brown ash glaze impressed initials height 13 cm

Len Castle, unusual large hanging form ribbed bottle vase, textured umber pigmented surface incised initials height 44 cm (two tiny chips)

Len Castle, hanging form bottle vase, with impressed spiral decoration and textured umber pigmented surface impressed initials height 39 cm

Len Castle, stoneware pear-shaped vase, with tenmoku glaze impressed initials height 25 cm

Len Castle, Shino glazed stoneware vase, with 'Pinched' rim impressed initials height 21 cm

A good mid-1950s Len Castle vase with decoration by Theo Schoon, baluster form, tenmoku and wood ash glaze, the swollen body with four Theo Schoon impressed stamps based on his interpretation of early Maori rock drawings found in Canterbury caves, impresse

Len Castle, slab sided bottle vase, impressed mark, 35 cm height

Len Castle, press moulded discoid vase, with burnt umber pigmented surface. Height 35 cm

Len Castle, large press moulded discoid vase, with burnt umber pigmented surface. Height 45 cm

Len Castle, sea secrets earthenware vase. Width 30 cm

Len Castle, ovoid stoneware vase, with unusual speckled blue glaze. Height 16 cm

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