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, stoneware trinket box with double ended bird motifs, blue glaze interior, 13.5 cm length

Len Castle, early stoneware planter with scored body, impressed mark, 14 cm high

An early c.1970s Len Castle ash glazed pouring vessel, wide tapered body, narrow short spout with curved lip below, the waisted neck with original cork-ended stopper, the variable grey glaze with iron spotting, impressed potter's mark. Height 19 cm

Len Castle, ‘Memory of a Journey to the Cyclades’, white earthenware, circa 1994, impressed mark to the base, height 42 cm

Len Castle, winged form, sitting on three feet, unglazed earthenware with umber pigment, impressed mark to the base, width 28.5 cm

Len Castle, cooling Lava form, grey stained white earthenware of irregular shape with a pool of lava glaze, 20 cm

Len Castle, cooling lava form, grey stained white earthenware of irregular shape with a pool of lava glaze, impressed mark to the base, height 18 cm

Len Castle, pair of ‘mangrove bud’ forms, unglazed earthenware with ochre and umber pigments, impressed mark to the bases, the largest, length 13 cm

Three Len Castle pottery milk jugs, of graduating size in grey and brown glaze with impressed monogram marks. Height 9.5 cm to 16 cm

Three tubular Len Castle stoneware coffee cans with brown glaze, all impressed with floral motifs and monogram mark, height 11.5 cm

Len Castle pouring vessel, late 50s, impressed mark, 25 cm diameter (frit to spout)

Len Castle sedge grass holder with heavily ribbed front in dark oxide wash, mid 70s, impressed mark, 15 cm height

Len Castle pair small sedge grass holder, early 70s, impressed marks, 9 cm diameter

Len Castle pouring vessel in tenmoku glaze, mid 70's, impressed mark, 26 cm diameter

Len Castle bottle form wall hanging, long tapered design tapering to a terminal point at the base, incised lineal decoration to the centre, umber rubbed matt glaze, length 46 cm, impressed potter's mark.

Len Castle ceremonial pourer in a striking lava red glaze, wheel thrown and hand modelled, fired to 1060°C. Impressed mark. Height 25.5 cm

Len Castle hanging double aperture form, hand modelled stoneware, brown pigment washed, fired to 1275°C.

Len Castle, Hanging avian form, iron oxide washed stoneware, incised initials

Len Castle, Grey stained stoneware earthbook, impressed initials, width 18 cm

Len Castle, Early stoneware lidded box, decorated with stylised bird design, impressed initials

Len Castle & Andrew Vander Putten casserole with late 1960s rope impression, jointly marked, 14 cm height

Len Castle semi matt talc glaze pouring vessel, c. early 1970s, impressed mark, 12 cm diameter

Len Castle large sedge grass holder, impressed mark, 19 cm height

Len Castle shino glaze bottle, 17 cm height Ex Rosemary Mueller Collection

Len Castle sedge grass holder, impressed mark, 19.5 cm length. Illustrated: Elliott & Skinner, Conetendown, p. 126.

Len Castle, Pouring vessel, ash glaze, impressed initials to the base. Height 27 cm. Provenance: Jag Applied Art Collection

Len Castle, ale mug. Impressed mark, 15.5 cm height

Len Castle, oil bottle. Impressed mark, 19 cm height. Provenance Ex Doris Dutch Estate

Len Castle, large stoneware circular planter, with poured green ash glaze, c.1970s, LC mark. Diameter 32 cm

Len Castle, five stoneware pebbles, with umber pigment, all with incised initials. Width 6 cm max

Len Castle, small stoneware bottle, with shino glaze, impressed LC mark. Height 19 cm

Mashiko Plate with poured glazes, 28 cm diameter. Provenance: brought back from Japan by Len Castle in 1967, held in his personal collection and this plate featured in his 1976 film

Len Castle, trio of joined pots, in colonial shino glaze, circa 1970s, C mark, diameter 14 cm

Len Castle, stoneware trinket box, in oxide washed porcelain with double ended face motifs, 1970s, C mark, length 11 cm. A very rare form, Len Castle recalled making only three examples.

Len Castle, hanging bottle form, in iron oxide washed stoneware, circa 1980s, length 56 cm

Len Castle, double necked hanging bottle form, in oxide washed stoneware with blue glazed interior, circa 1990, length 38 cm. Provenance: Purchased from Len Castle’s personal collection.

Len Castle, tall hanging bottle form, in iron oxide washed stoneware with heavily scored centre section, circa 1990s, LC mark, length 46 cm

Len Castle, early hanging bottle form, in iron oxide washed stoneware with panels of small impressed koru motifs, circa 1960s, LC mark, length 32 cm

Len Castle, early ovoid lamp base, with scored line and circles in brown treacle glaze, circa 1959, C mark, height 29 cm

Len Castle, trio of spherical breast pots, in finely textured iron oxide washed stoneware.