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, stoneware platter, in colonial shino and brown glazes with wax resist double falcon modernist motif in tenmoku glaze, 1970s, diameter 40 cm. Len Castle was fascinated by his boyhood sighting of a native falcon and used falcon heads widely in th
Len Castle, circular platter, in colonial shino with combed decoration to the well, circa 1970s, diameter 31 cm. The decoration on this platter was created using an antique samurai comb that Len Castle was given when he was in Japan.
Len Castle, large rectangular platter, in stoneware with ash glaze in blue/green and a series of stamped motifs to the well, length 40 cm. The symbols are based on the fire safety kanji Len Castle saw on Japanese farm houses under the eaves on his trip the
Len Castle massive charger in turquoise and blue glazes with appliqued textured clay panel to the well (circa 1988/90, this was one of the development pieces for the Volcanic series shown at the Seville Expo 1992), impressed Lc mark. Diameter 53 cm
A vintage Len Castle large platter of rounded rectangular form, the well with textured dragged and cut bands, applied flat rim, partial pooled dark olive green glaze, the sides of a pale grey/green, impressed mark circa 1970. Length 35.5 cm. Width 42.5 cm
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