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.
Len Castle, rare early rectangular stoneware dish, impressed with a flower design, impressed initials to the base. Length 31 cm, This dish was one of a small number which were made for Len Castle s first exhibition in Japan in 1967.
Len Castle, stoneware dish, with shino glaze and combed decoration to the well, impressed initials, diameter 30 cm, an almost identical example illustrated: Len Castle: 'Making the Molecules Dance', p. 202.
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