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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These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

Len Castle & Andrew Vander Putten casserole with late 1960s rope impression, jointly marked, 14 cm height

Len Castle semi matt talc glaze pouring vessel, c. early 1970s, impressed mark, 12 cm diameter

Len Castle large sedge grass holder, impressed mark, 19 cm height

Len Castle shino glaze bottle, 17 cm height Ex Rosemary Mueller Collection

Len Castle sedge grass holder, impressed mark, 19.5 cm length. Illustrated: Elliott & Skinner, Conetendown, p. 126.

Len Castle ribbed vase, impressed mark, 12.5 cm. Illustrated: Elliott & Skinner, Conetendown p. 126

Len Castle, Pouring vessel, ash glaze, impressed initials to the base. Height 27 cm. Provenance: Jag Applied Art Collection

A large Len Castle 'Inverted Volcano' 10 vase, moulded earthenware with grey textured exterior surfaces and bright red glazed interior. Impressed cypher under the base. Width 85 cm

Len Castle, ale mug. Impressed mark, 15.5 cm height

Len Castle, grass vase. Impressed mark, 18 cm height. Provenance Ex Doris Dutch Estate

Len Castle, oil bottle. Impressed mark, 19 cm height. Provenance Ex Doris Dutch Estate

A Len Castle shallow bowl, the centre with blue glaze graduating to a brown, impressed mark to base. Diameter 30 cm

Len Castle, rare and unusual Crum Brickworks salt glazed bottle vase, the salt glaze with an unusual 'Flambe' 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, large stoneware circular planter, with poured green ash glaze, c.1970s, LC mark. Diameter 32 cm

Len Castle, unique earthenware alkaline blue glazed bowl, with impressed triangular decoration and dark stained exterior, incised LC mark. Diameter 38.5 cm

Len Castle, rare Sulphurous bowl, of unique smaller hemispherical form with vivid crackled glaze effects to the well, LC mark. Diameter 38 cm

Len Castle, stoneware bowl, with blue jun type glaze to the well over a dark tenmoku ground, LC mark. Diameter 34 cm. Note: an almost identical example illustrated in <i>Len Castle Potter</i>, Ron sang and Len Castle 2002, p. 123

Len Castle, five stoneware pebbles, with umber pigment, all with incised initials. Width 6 cm max

Len Castle, small stoneware bottle, with shino glaze, impressed LC mark. Height 19 cm

Mashiko Plate with poured glazes, 28 cm diameter. Provenance: brought back from Japan by Len Castle in 1967, held in his personal collection and this plate featured in his 1976 film

An impressive large Len Castle branch pot, slab built, the near square body with tapered rectangular neck, flat rim, dark near-black tenmoku glaze with a striking chun glaze to the shoulder in variable pale blue tones, raised on four small lug feet, incise

A Len Castle Avian bowl, circular form, unglazed exterior and textured rim with stylised bird form head, dark green/blue glazed interior with darker highlights. Impressed potter's mark to base. Diameter 3.3 cm

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

A Len Castle bowl, glazed in bright blue, decorated to the interior with a pricked radiating pattern, impressed mark under the foot. Diameter 19 cm

Len Castle, stoneware bowl, in tenmoku glazed stoneware with incised rim and jun glaze effects to the well, 1980s, C mark, diameter 28 cm

Len Castle, black stoneware bowl, with pooled green and turquoise glazes to the well, early 1990s, LC mark, diameter 21 cm. Provenance: from the Restless earth Moves Me exhibition at Rotorua Bathhouse Museum, 1992.<br> a similar bowl illustrated in

Len Castle, trio of joined pots, in colonial shino glaze, circa 1970s, C mark, diameter 14 cm

Len Castle, stoneware trinket box, in oxide washed porcelain with double ended face motifs, 1970s, C mark, length 11 cm. A very rare form, Len Castle recalled making only three examples.

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

Len Castle, hanging bottle form, in iron oxide washed stoneware, circa 1980s, length 56 cm

Len Castle, early bowl, in tenmoku and jun glazes with quince blossom wax resist motif, 1970s, C mark, diameter 17 cm

Len Castle, large stoneware bowl, in green and brown ash glazes with wax resist quince blossom motif, circa 1960s, C mark, diameter 35 cm

Len Castle, stoneware bowl, in green and brown ash glaze with wax resist quince blossom motif, circa 1980s, diameter 28 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, large black mirror glaze bowl, with jun and rutile glaze effects in a radiating pattern to the well, 1990s, LC mark, diameter 39 cm

Len Castle, Rockpool bowl, hand formed and press moulded entitled 'The Rockpool’ in grey stained earthenware with blue glaze to the well, 2004, LC mark, diameter 40 cm. Illustrated: Making the Molecules dance: Len Castle Ceramics a retrospective

Len Castle, Sulphurous bowl, of hemispherical form with vivid crackled glaze effects to the well, circa 2010, LC mark, diameter 45 cm

Len Castle, double necked hanging bottle form, in oxide washed stoneware with blue glazed interior, circa 1990, length 38 cm. Provenance: Purchased from Len Castle’s personal collection.