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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Len Castle, bowl with chun glaze & tenmoku exterior, impressed mark, 20 cm dia

Len Castle, bowl with ribbed edge, impressed mark, 26 cm dia

A Len Castle blue 'alkaline pool' bowl, the interior with scattered bubbling glaze ranging from turquoise to a deep central cobalt pool and similarly to the exterior. Impressed potter's cypher under the base. Maximum diameter 39 cm

A Len Castle red crater bowl, the interior with swirling magma red glaze, the sculpted matt grey rim suggesting alkaline deposits, the black exterior glaze resembling lava. Impressed potter's cypher under the base. Maximum diameter 49 cm

Two small Len Castle bowls, chun glaze to the interior, tenmoku to the exterior, impressed potter's mark to each. Diameter 14.5 cm

Len Castle flared bowl, variable iron spotted grey glaze to the interior on tenmoku ground, impressed potter's mark. Diameter 29.5 cm

A Len Castle bowl, tenmoku outer glaze, green/blue glaze to the interior with mottled effects. Impressed potter's mark. Diameter 23 cm

Len Castle, waisted conical bowl, covered with red lava glaze, impressed mark to the base, width 28 cm

Len Castle, large conical bowl, covered with red lava glaze, impressed mark to the base, diameter 40.5 cm

Len Castle, conical earthenware bowl, with tapering sides and small pedestal foot, covered with red lava glaze, impressed mark to the base, diameter 34.5 cm

Len Castle, large stoneware bowl, in tenmoku glaze with purple and blue glazes to the well, impressed mark near the foot, diameter 39.5 cm

Len Castle, table bowl, incised mark, 31 cm diameter

A Len Castle brown and blue glazed pottery bowl, finely potted in the Chinese style (oxide and oil spot). Impressed monogram mark, diameter 14 cm

A Len Castle red glaze lava bowl, of hemispherical shape, diameter 18 cm

Len Castle large green ash table bowl, mid 60's, impressed mark, 38.5 cm diameter

Len Castle deep footed bowl in heavy ash glaze, impressed mark, 26 cm diameter

Len Castle Avian bowl, the interior with grey/green glaze, umber rubbed exterior including stylised Avian form to the rim, incised potter's mark to base. Diameter 29 cm

Len Castle Lava bowl, the flared bowl tapering to a narrow foot, with striking red lustrous glaze. Impressed potter's mark to base. Diameter 32.8 cm

Len Castle Crater bowl/alkaline pool, the interior with mildly incised repeating swirls glazed with copper blue glaze pooling to the well, the sculpted rim with 'alkaline deposits', matt grey rim, dark glazed exterior, incised potter's initials. Diameter 3

Len Castle Avian form bowl, blue and green glaze effects to the interior, crackle type finish, impressed potter's mark to base. Diameter approx. 22 cm

Len Castle Avian bowl, small medium size, blue glazed interior, impressed mark. Diameter 22.5 cm

Len Castle bowl, similar to above. Diameter 19.5 cm

Len Castle lava red glazed earthenware bowl, short foot, impressed potter's mark. Diameter 20 cm

Len Castle earthenware wheel thrown bowl, copper blue glaze pooling to the well, impressed mark. Diameter 21.5 cm

Len Castle, Small avian bowl, with light blue glaze to interior, impressed initials

Len Castle, Sulphurous bowl, of hemispherical form in earthenware with crackled sulphur glaze, impressed initials to the base, Provenance: Graham Ambrose collection

Len Castle, Impressive and unique large Crater Lake bowl, white earthenware with grey stained exterior, alkaline blue glaze to the well and textured sculptured cavetto, incised initials and dated 2009 to the base, Provenance: Graham Ambrose collection. Thi

Len Castle, Large earthenware bowl, with texture alkaline blue glaze to the interior, impressed initials (hard to read)

A Len Castle stoneware bowl, circular, raised on a small tapering foot ring, green talc glaze to the interior and darker mottled green glaze to the exterior, impressed artist's cypher under the base. Diameter 38.5 cm

Len Castle ‘;mountainscape’ bowl with heavy feldspathic glaze, impressed mark, 18 cm diameter

Len Castle early semi matt talc glaze bowl, impressed mark, 25 cm diameter

Len Castle facet sided bowl c. late 1950s, impressed mark, 23 cm diameter

Len Castle semi matt talc glaze bowl, impressed mark, 30 cm diameter

Len Castle early semi matt talc glazes shallow bowl, impressed mark, 27.5 cm diameter

Len Castle Volcanic series bowl, impressed mark (obscured by glaze), 26.5 cm dia.

Len Castle shallow bowl, impressed mark, 30 cm dia.