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.
Len Castle bottle form wall hanging, long tapered design tapering to a terminal point at the base, incised lineal decoration to the centre, umber rubbed matt glaze, length 46 cm, impressed potter's mark.
Len Castle, winged form, in rich burnt sienna oxide washed stoneware, LC mark, width 34 cm. A similar example illustrated on the cover of Making the Molecules dance, Len Castle Ceramics, a retrospective exhibition 1947-1994.
Len Castle/ Theo Schoon, a collaborative piece designed in the mid-1950s, Len Castle made this form infrequently over the years. This piece was made in the mid-1990s in colonial shino. Len Castle has retained Schoon’s stamp which he used on this piec
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