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, 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 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
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, 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, 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, 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
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