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.
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
Len Castle, stoneware pouring flask, with applied medallion in iron oxide washed stoneware, circa 1980, LC mark, height 24 cm. Item number 75 from the Making the Molecules dance, page 8 of the catalogue.<br> Provenance: Purchased from Len Castle.
A Len Castle stoneware flagon, wood, ash and pumice (Waikato) containing glaze, impressed circular motifs to the front, Maltese cross form, strap form handle, impressed potter's mark to base. Noted by Len 'I'm 95% certain that this pot was in my first solo
A Len Castle stoneware coffee pot, iron underglaze to the upper section, the entire pot dipped into a semi-matte off-white talc containing glaze, original fitted lid, strap handle, impressed mark c.late 1960s. Height 21.5 cm
A Len Castle stoneware cylindrical vase, decorated with incised concentric bands with olive coloured glaze and umber pigmenting; along with a Castle milk jug with iron speckled ash glaze, impressed artist's mark to each piece. Tallest 18 cm
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