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

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

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

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

Len Castle, four early slip trail pin dishes decorated with animals (one af) 10 cm dia each together with another plain pin dish, 11.5 cm dia

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

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

An impressive large Len Castle branch pot, slab built, the near square body with tapered rectangular neck, flat rim, dark near-black tenmoku glaze with a striking chun glaze to the shoulder in variable pale blue tones, raised on four small lug feet, incise

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

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 Len Castle hand modelled 'Sea Secret', square sculpted and folded form with a central well with turquoise blue glaze. Impressed mark to the base. 20.5 cm x 20 cm

A good Len Castle wax resist blossom branch pot, press moulded stoneware, the saturated iron underglaze with wax resist blossom decoration and rutile over-glaze, impressed potter's mark to base. 31.5 cm x 17 cm x 365. Provenance: Purchased directly from th

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 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

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, large stoneware shino glazed deep dish, impressed mark near the foot, diameter 32 cm

Len Castle, large Sea Secret, earthenware of flat oval form with radiating cut ribs, the surface with a dark green wash, alkaline blue glaze to interior, impressed mark to the base and dated ’98, width 34 cm

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

Len Castle, impressive winged hanging form, iron oxide washed stoneware, with a small aperture to the top, impressed mark to the back, width 28 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, winged hanging form, iron oxide washed stoneware, impressed mark to the back, width 26 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, 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, 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, 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, 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 of ‘mangrove bud’ forms, unglazed earthenware with ochre and umber pigments, impressed mark to the bases, the largest, length 13 cm

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