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, pair turquoise specimen vases, incised marks, 12 cm height

A tall Len Castle tubular pottery vase, of wasted form with everted rim and matt blue wave glaze in dark blue to pinkish mauve tones. Impressed monogram mark, height 29.5 cm

Len Castle small bottle vase in dark green ash glaze, late 50's, impressed mark, 11 cm height

Len Castle small bottle vase, from 1998 Retro series, where Castle used his old marks from 60's, impressed mark, 14 cm height

Len Castle bottle vase in shino glaze, early 70s, ex Rosemary Mueller Collection sold at Webbs 1999, impressed mark, 24 cm height

Len Castle discoid vase in dark oxide wash c. late 60s, impressed mark, 37 cm height

A Len Castle tapered double aperture vase, flattened ovoid form with four small holes below the tapered top as three bars, pigment rubbed finish. Impressed mark. Height 19 cm

Len Castle and Theo Schoon collaboratively designed stoneware vase, ovoid form with knob type side protrusions, tapered neck, umber glaze, blue internal glaze, impressed potter's mark and incised 'TS'. 19 cm x 14 cm x 14.5 cm

Len Castle large slab form vase, mildly swollen square form body, the open rectangular neck with flat top rim, the tenmoku glaze with dominant dark tone, dark red/brown showing through, chun overglaze to the shoulder with dribbled effects in pale blue tone

Len Castle discoid vase, paper label, 43.5 cm height

Len Castle wall vase, impressed mark, 28.5 cm length

Len Castle wall vase, impressed mark, 22.5 cm length

Len Castle ribbed vase, impressed mark, 12.5 cm. Illustrated: Elliott & Skinner, Conetendown p. 126

A vintage Len Castle ovoid vase, cylindrical neck, tenmoku glaze with gloss red/brown highlights, impressed mark. Height 23 cm

A vintage Len Castle pottery vase, spherical form with four spout form apertures to the top, impressions to the shoulder between, the top with thick caramel toned rock-ash type glaze, unglazed lower body, impressed mark, c.1960. Height 23.5 cm

A large Len Castle 'Inverted Volcano' 10 vase, moulded earthenware with grey textured exterior surfaces and bright red glazed interior. Impressed cypher under the base. Width 85 cm

Len Castle, grass vase. Impressed mark, 18 cm height. Provenance Ex Doris Dutch Estate

Len Castle, rare and unusual Crum Brickworks salt glazed bottle vase, the salt glaze with an unusual 'Flambe' look achieved by a blend of titanium and vanadium, LC mark. Height 18.5 cm. Provenance: originally purchased from the Wellington architect

Len Castle, stoneware bottle vase, with green glaze and textured surface, incised initials. Height 30 cm

Len Castle NZ studio pottery stoneware vase, with brown and neutral glazed tones, height 14.5 cm approx

Len Castle, blue orb vase, in rich blue barium glaze with turquoise highlights, circa 1990s, LC mark, height 13 cm

Len Castle, bottle vase, in the Japanese manner with tenmoku glaze and wax resist quince blossom motifs on a pearlescent brown ground, circa 1980, C mark, height 30 cm. Illustrated: craft New Zealand, Doreen Blumhardt and Brian brake, 1981, page 247 and Le

Len Castle, large and impressive discoid vase, in iron oxide washed stoneware with three rope impressions to each side, circa 1970, C mark, height 45 cm

Len Castle, crumb Brickworks stoneware vase, tall cylindrical form with rich golden brown slip. Glazed at the crumb Brickworks, circa 1951, C mark, height 28 cm. Provenance: from the collection of Nancy Beck, purchased at the Albany village Potters Collect

Len Castle, crumb Brickworks squat ovoid vase, with mid brown manganese slip and salt glaze. Glazed at the crumb brickworks, circa 1954, Castellated mark, height 16 cm, illustrated Cone ten Down: the Studio movement in New Zealand pottery 1945-1980 by Moyr

Len Castle, crumb Brickworks ovoid vase, with mid brown manganese slip and salt glaze. Glazed at the crumb Brickworks, circa 1950, C mark, height 22 cm

Len Castle, “Helen Mason” vase, 1958, Triparte vase with cylindrical base and ovoid centre section and conical neck in oatmeal grey glaze with brown motif to the centre, height 27 cm, Used on the poster to advertise the New Zealand Studio potte

Len Castle, early squat hexagonal vase, with flared rim in rich tenmoku glaze, circa 1958, C mark, height 17 cm

Len Castle, stoneware blossom vase, with tenmoku glaze with jun glaze to the shoulders and neck. This example is the last one of these made in June 1995 by special order for the vendor, LC mark, height 57 cm

Len Castle, ovoid vase, with rolled neck in various barium blue glazes, circa 1990s, LC mark, height 23 cm

Len Castle, ovoid stoneware vase, with fire symbol motif in green/grey ash glazes with, 1960s, C mark, height 23 cm

Len Castle, cylindrical stoneware vase, in heavily textured iron oxide washed stoneware with dark green ash glaze interior, 1960s, C mark, height 19 cm

Len Castle, early stoneware gourd form bottle vase, in white and brown glazed stoneware, rope indentations to the body, early 1960s, C mark, width 24 cm

Len Castle, double necked orb vase, in heavily textured oxide washed stoneware, 1980s, LC mark, width 20 cm

Len Castle, small discoid vase, with three rope impressions to each face and iron oxide washed in rich brown, c1960s, C mark, height 33 cm

Len Castle, large gourd form bottle vase, with gnarled rim and scored sides in heavy feldspathic matt white glaze with blue and brown highlights, mid 1960s, C mark, diameter 41 cm. Refer Len Castle Potter, page 36.

Len Castle, large rectangular slab vase, in heavy colonial shino and feldspathic glazes, circa 1990, LC mark, height 35 cm

Len Castle, stoneware hanging vase, with white ash glaze, unmarked. Height 28 cm

Len Castle, stoneware sedge grass vase, with five apertures, with textured surface, impressed initials. Width 27.5 cm

Len Castle, large stoneware vase, with ash brown and grey glazes, impressed initials. Height 33 cm