Learn about Castle, Len

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.

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These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

Len Castle blossom vase in tenmoku glaze with chun highlights to the shoulder and upper sides and small hanging lugs to the shoulders in the Japanese manner, impressed mark. Height 53 cm

Len Castle quadruple aperture gourd form vase in ochre rubbed finish, incised initials. Height 21 cm

A good fat baluster shaped stoneware pottery vase, by Len Castle, with close ribbed body decoration and blue salt glaze. Impressed monogram. Height 25 cm

A Len Castle stoneware bottle vase, with orange and white glaze. Marked to shoulder. Height 14.5 cm

A Len Castle stoneware bottle vase, with orange and white glaze. Marked to shoulder. Height 13 cm

Len Castle rope impression discoid vase in iron oxide finish. Height 34 cm.

Len Castle bottle vase hanging form with impressed decoration, c1970s, impressed mark. Height 41 cm.

Len Castle stoneware tapering cylindrical vase shino-style glaze. Impressed mark. Firing chip to base. Height 26 cm

Len Castle inverted volcano vase, experimental form with shortened ends, red lava glaze interior and pale grey exterior (restored). Impressed mark, 68 cm

A tall square section bottle vase, by Len Castle, with a variegated green-brown glaze impressed potters mark. Height 37.5 cm

Len Castle, double necked vase form in blue/black semi matt talc glaze over saturated iron underglaze, impressed early mark, 30 cm height. Stolen from Royal oak Hotel by band 'The pretty Things' in 1965 and returned. Glued to hotel counter for next 16 year

Len Castle stoneware Robust vase, the square section base flaring to four rounded shoulders below a circular neck and rim. Wood ash glaze speckled with iron. Impressed cipher, early 1960s, the base with an exhibition sticker marked 49 6 Gns. Height 26 cm

Len Castle blue and green glazed ovoid vase with a side lug and an impressed later mark

Len Castle bottle vase with four separate necks, a ribbed body, variegated green ash style glaze and an early mark

Len Castle ovoid vase with diagonal ribbing to the body, impressed symbols and a semi matt talc grey/green glaze

Len Castle ovoid vase with ribbed sides, saturated iron underglaze and heavy felspathic overglaze

Len Castle 'Inverted Volcano' moulded vase form with a matt grey textured exterior, red lava glaze to the interior, black highlights and an impressed mark to the base

Len Castle stoneware hanging vase 'Scale' impressed decorated surface, burnt umber pigment on exterior, small free shaped aperture, incised initials

Len Castle, lobed large vase, the squat ovoid form with a curved broad neck and bulbous rim, the exterior walls of encircling corrugated bands, then indented vertically at three points, calcite, semi-matt glaze with some crazing, thin wash of cobalt carbon

Len Castle slab formed square section tall bottle vase with an applied wheel thrown curved short neck, semi-matt mottled ochre ash and iron glazed. Impressed cipher 1950 - 1994. Note; wall chip. Height 36 cm.

Len Castle. Bottle vase with bulbous centre and wax resist pattern in brown on grey ground. Impressed mark 1960's (rim chip). 26 cm height

Len Castle. Discord vase, in stoneware, rope impressions to the walls. Ochre wash, impressed mark 1960's. 34 cm height

A Len Castle ochre glaze discoid vase with rope impressions. Height 34 cm

Len Castle, double necked bottle vase, in heavy green ash glaze, 1960's mark, 22 cm height

Len Castle, bottle vase, of square form, green glaze over tenmoku, 1980's, with ' L. C.' mark, 34.5 cm height

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