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, 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 hanging form, iron oxide washed stoneware, impressed mark to the back, width 26 cm

Len Castle large hanging form, textured finish, approximately circular with swollen front, stoneware, brown burnt umber washed, blue to the narrow top internal aperture. Fired to1280°C. 34 cm x 36 cm x 11 cm

Len Castle double aperture hanging form, wire cut decoration, yellow ochre pigment to surface, hand modelled, fired to 1275°C. Impressed potter's mark. Width 27 cm

Len Castle small hanging form, wide type with wire cut decoration, impressed mark. Width 13.5 cm

Len Castle hand modelled hanging form, stoneware, tapered banded wire cut decoration, brown pigment washed, fired to 1275°C. Height 13 cm

Len Castle hanging form c. 1960s, impressed mark, 25 cm length

Len Castle hanging form c. 1980, impressed mark, 26 cm length

Len Castle hanging form, impressed mark, 14 cm length

Len Castle hanging form, impressed mark, 11 cm length

Len Castle hanging form, impressed mark, 12 cm length

Len Castle, hanging form, with umber pigment, length 25 cm

Len Castle, ovoid hanging form, in iron oxide washed stoneware with heavy horizontal ribbing and blue interior, circa 1990s, LC mark, length 27 cm

Len Castle, hanging form, of rectangular ribbed stoneware, oxide washed with blue interior glaze, circa 1990, width 22 cm. Provenance: Purchased from Len Castle’s personal collection.

Len Castle, small discoid hanging form, in iron oxide washed stoneware, circa 1970s, LC mark, diameter 17 cm. Provenance: Martin Hill collection.

Len Castle, small discoid hanging form, in oxide washed stoneware with fine vertical ribbing, circa 1990, diameter 15 cm. Provenance: Purchased from Len Castle’s personal collection.

Len Castle, hanging form, in oxide washed stoneware of 'Heart’ shape, circa 1990, LC mark, length 27 cm. Illustrated: NZ Potter, volume 35, number 1, page 20. From the exhibition the Restless earth Moves Me at the Rotorua Bathhouse Museum.

Len Castle, Discoid hanging form, in oxide washed stoneware with fine vertical ribbing and flax cord, circa 1980s, diameter 20 cm. Provenance: Purchased from Len Castle’s personal collection in 1996.

Len Castle, winged hanging form, in oxide washed stoneware with double aperture, circa 1990s, LC mark, width 35 cm

Len Castle, hanging form, in iron oxide washed stoneware with impressed motifs, circa 1980s, length 56 cm. These motifs were used widely by Len Castle and are based on a Kanji symbol that Castle saw in Japan on the eves of farmhouses, the symbol meaning to

Len Castle, Discoid hanging form, in iron oxide, washed stoneware with ochre staining, circa 1980s, LC mark, length 33 cm

Len Castle, Discoid hanging form, in iron oxide with scored turtleback design, circa 1980s, LC mark, length 35 cm

Len Castle, hanging form of heart shape, in iron oxide washed stoneware, circa 1990s, LC mark, length 26 cm. Purchased from Len Castle’s personal collection.

Len Castle, hanging form, in oxide washed stoneware with abstract ribbed pattern, circa 1985, LC mark, length 28 cm. Illustrated: ceramic form by Peter Lane (1988), page 149 and Making the Molecules dance, page 54.

Len Castle, massive hanging form, in oxide washed stoneware with blue interior glaze, circa 1990, LC mark, length 33 cm

Len Castle, hanging form, in oxide washed stoneware, heavily horizontally ribbed with blue interior, circa 1990, LC mark, length 20 cm. Provenance: Purchased from Len Castle’s personal collection.

Len Castle, Discoid hanging form, with burnt umber wash, circa 1960s, length 35 cm. Provenance: Purchased with Len Castle at the Albany village Potters Collectible show in 1996. Ex the Nancy Beck collection.

Len Castle, hanging form, of abstract shape in dark ochre wash, heavily ribbed and finned, circa 1980s, LC mark, length 26 cm

Len Castle, early hanging form, in iron oxide washed stoneware with Crown neck, circa 1960s, LC mark, length 40 cm

Len Castle, hanging form, of rectangular shape with radiating lines from the neck, gunmetal coloured stoneware. C 1997, LC mark. Provenance: Purchased from Len Castle’s personal collection.

Len Castle, hanging form, in blue glazed stoneware, diameter 26 cm

Len Castle, large hanging form, of paddle shape with heavily textured finish in grey stained white earthenware, circa 2000, LC mark, length 35 cm

Len Castle, large hanging form, of paddle shape in grey stained white earthenware with heavily textured finish, circa 2000, LC mark, length 35 cm

Len Castle, large discoid hanging form, in iron oxide washed stoneware with heavily scored front face, circa 1960s, C mark, diameter 37 cm

Len Castle, large stoneware hanging form, with textured umber pigmented surface, incised with a waving pattern & alkaline blue glaze to interior, impressed initials. Height 28 cm

Len Castle, hanging form, impressed marked, 32 cm, dia

Len Castle, stoneware avian hanging form, the textured surface with umber pigment. Width 36 cm

Len Castle, unusual stoneware double-aperture hanging form, with textured umber pigmented surface width 40 cm

Len Castle, unusual large hanging form ribbed bottle vase, textured umber pigmented surface incised initials height 44 cm (two tiny chips)

Len Castle, hanging form bottle vase, with impressed spiral decoration and textured umber pigmented surface impressed initials height 39 cm

Len Castle, small stoneware hanging form, with umber pigment surface. Depth 200nn

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