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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A large vintage Len Castle blossom vase, swollen rectangular form, pale grey all-over glaze, tenmoko to the flat rectangular rim and showing at the corners, impressed potter's mark. 38 cm x 26 cm x 42.5 cm. Provenance: From the Estate Collection of Keith B

A large Len Castle wall vase, stylised winged form with concentric incised circle decoration to the tapered edges, matt umber glazed finish, lug supports for hanging to the reverse, maker's initials incised in script to the reverse. Width 37.5 cm, heig

Len Castle, bottle vase of triangular form, ash glaze with impressed motifs, impressed mark, 17 cm high

Len Castle, hexagonal vase in temmoku glaze, 20 cm high

A Len Castle stoneware wall vase, modelled after a shell fossil, small aperture at the top, suspension lugs to the reverse, umber pigmented. Height 20 cm

A small Len Castle specimen vase, squat ovoid form, the tenmoku glaze with fine gold speckled highlights, impressed potter's mark. Diameter 9.5 cm, height 8 cm

Len Castle, hanging bottle vase, grey stained white earthenware, textured surface and alkaline blue glazed interior, impressed mark to the back, width 20 cm

Len Castle, Sea Secret hanging vase, earthenware with alkaline blue glaze to the interior, impressed mark to the back, height 20 cm

Len Castle, stoneware globular vase, with turquoise glaze, impressed mark near the foot, height 21 cm

Len Castle, stoneware hanging bottle vase, with grey ash glaze, impressed mark to the back, height 21 cm

Len Castle, volcanic hanging bottle vase, grey stained white earthenware, with three high ridges and small pools of lava to the front, impressed mark to the back, height 25 cm

Len Castle, fossil form hanging bottle vase, grey stained white earthenware, the textured external surface with high relief pebble-like decoration, the interior with alkaline blue glaze, impressed mark to the back, height 21 cm

Len Castle, volcanic hanging bottle vase, grey stained white earthenware, small pools of lava glaze to the front, impressed mark to the back, height 19 cm

Len Castle, fossil form hanging bottle vase, grey stained white earthenware, textured surface and alkaline blue glazed interior, impressed mark to the back, width 23 cm

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

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