Mainly West of Queen Street - seen through my lens

Blue Bowl (Len Castle)

Blue Bowl (Len Castle)

Blue Bowl (Len Castle)

Len Castle, grand master of New Zealand ceramics, died 29 September, aged 86. He started out as a science teacher but then turned his attention to pottery, doing it full-time since 1963. He developed a deep understanding of the capabilities of clay and of glazes, no doubt helped by his scientific background.

On Saturday and Sunday the annual Ron Sang exhibition was held, and much to my delight there were some Len Castle pieces, this is one of my favorites.

Read an obituary for Len Castle.



    For its text, it seems to me that he was a great artist. This piece of pottery is beautiful and is a work of high artistic level.

    Roberto, Brazil

  2. jb

    I have a Len Castle story.
    Never met him, despite our being good friends with Peter Oxborough and having a nodding acquaintance with virtually all of the Albany Potters potters.
    I was in NZ on business at the start of the millennium and my mate Houghton (with Caitlin, now 18, then 7 or 8) picked me up at the hotel and took me out to the west coast for a tour. Called in to a really good art gallery out west (Kumeu? No longer there, the lady from Compendium used to run it).
    Everything they had was good, including a bowl from Len Castle for $700-ish. Cait saw it and said “Look at the LIGHT!”. We went around the gallery and when we’d seen everything, I asked her what she liked best.
    “This” – pointing to an exceptional piece of glass, could have been Ann Robinson – ” and THIS” The lan Castle piece.
    One of my major regrets that I didn’t buy it.
    Saw him talking to someone at Lopdell 2 years ago, but I didn’t want to interrupt and do the fan-boy thing….
    Another regret.

  3. Carola

    Blue, oh so fantastic blue.

  4. leif Hagen

    Looks like a yummy piece of art!

  5. genie

    What a talented artist. This piece of pottery is gorgeous. So sad to hear of his passing. I have never heard of him, but I will be looking when in museums for his works. Your photo of his piece is stunning. genie

  6. joan

    I love blue in bowls and platters … ceramic or glass.

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