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, sea secret, earthenware, cone shaped with textured surface and coloured pigments, impressed mark. Exhibited: Len Castle, mountain to the sea, touring exhibition curated by Tanya Wilkinson. Height 14 cm. Length 24 cm
Len Castle 'Sea Secret' earthenware free oval shaped coral form with a textured surface, the dished centre with red pigment remnants, the outer surface washed with black pigment. Incised cipher, circa 2000. Width 29 cm. Depth 19 cm. Height 10 cm
Len Castle 'Sea Secret' Form stoneware standing cone shape with the textured upper surface under a fine copper blue glaze, trickling to the underside. Impressed cipher circa 2000. Height 11.2 cm. Width 23 cm
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