Maja Houtman

Maja Houtman (Arnhem, 1963) was educated as a gold- and silversmith at the Vakschool in Schoonhoven. After an apprenticeship in Chatham, Ontario, she graduated in 1988 in both disciplines. In a suburb of Utrecht, in the centre of the Netherlands, she found her first job as a repairer annex shop-girl in a mainstream jewelry shop. In this uninspiring environment, she trained herself further in the goldsmiths craft.
In 1992, Maja made a career switch and accepted an appointment as assay master at the Dutch Assay Office in Gouda (WaarborgHolland). During more then ten years, she saw almost everything made of platinum, gold and silver, that was sold in the Netherlands. Due to new European regulations and the competition of a new established second assay office, the Assay Office in Gouda had to reorganize in 2003. Over 50 percent of the company’s employees lost their job, and Maja was one of them. After she left her appointment as assay master, Maja Houtman started to work as an artist goldsmith.