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 early rectangular stoneware dish, impressed with a flower design, impressed initials to the base. Length 31 cm, This dish was one of a small number which were made for Len Castle s first exhibition in Japan in 1967.
Len Castle, stoneware dish, with shino glaze and combed decoration to the well, impressed initials, diameter 30 cm, an almost identical example illustrated: Len Castle: 'Making the Molecules Dance', p. 202.
Len Castle, pair of stoneware dishes, one with a reducing red glaze over tenmoku, the other with a reducing olive green glaze over tenmoku (hairline crack), each with impressed initials to base. Diameter 31 cm x 31 cm each
Len Castle, Tongariro Track marker, stoneware dish with umber pigmented textured surface, stippled well with alkaline blue glaze. Impressed initials to base. Diameter 35 cm. Made for the exhibition 'Mountain to the sea’
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