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, Volcanic crucible pouring vessel, with grey attained exterior and cadmium/selenium lava glaze to the well, circa 1993, LC mark, diameter 39 cm, applied cloth label to the base no 117 from the 1994 LC retrospective “Making the Molecules da
Len Castle, rare inverted volcano, moulded earthenware, grey texture exterior and alkaline blue glaze to interior, impressed initials to base. Length 870 mm. This rare blue glazed inverted volcano is one of only three made by Len Castle.
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
Len Castle 'Volcanic and Geothermal' series large bowl, wheel thrown earthenware, turquoise and copper glaze to the interior, grey matt exterior and sculptured internal rim, fired to 1075 degrees C, impressed potters mark. Width 46.5 cm. Height 12 cm Est.
Len Castle 'Volcanic & Geothermal' series shallow bowl, wheel thrown earthenware, lava red glaze to the interior, matt black pigmented exterior and hand sculptured rim, impressed potters mark to base. Diameter 46 cm. Height 11 cm Est. $950
Len Castle earthenware 'Inverted Volcano' bowl form the exterior with a black wash, the jagged rim with splashes and spills of the glossy molten lava red with black, a combination of the cadmium-selenium glazed interior, spilling over the matt black exteri
Len Castle earthenware volcanic lava red lipped bowl the exterior and crusted lip with white burning slip biscuit surface, the well of red lava glaze with black molten effects, impressed initials. Diameter 34.5 cm. Height 10 cm.
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