Bouke Holinga, Jeweler
Bouke Willem Hollinga was born on the 20th of May 1950 in Rotterdam, Holland. As a child he was interested in art and revealed a natural talent. His talent became focused in the 60’s when Bouke attended the Art Academy of Rotterdam, taking extensive drawing and painting courses. As a friend of the Van der Loo family, who own The House of St. Eloy, one of the most prestigious jewelry stores in Rotterdam, Bouke Hollinga was inspired to go into the art of making fine jewelry. He enrolled in the jewelry academy Vakschool Schoonhoven of Gold and Silver-smithing where he learned the basic skills of fine jewelry making.
When he was twenty years old, Bouke emigrated to the northwestern part of the United Stated of America, and lived in the city of Portland, Oregon. There he worked for several trade shops and served his apprenticeship gaining experience as an expert diamond setter. In the mid 1970’s, he moved to California and settled in the exclusive artistic community of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Carmel is a picturesque city located on the Monterey Bay and it was there that he met his mentor and life-long teacher, Orlando Feriozzi, a renowned master jeweler of Rome. In the1930’s, Feriozzi apprenticed under Giorgio Cazzaniga, founder of The House of Cazzaniga. Maestro Feriozzi owns two fine jewelry stores, one in Carmel and the other in Rome. He taught Bouke Hollinga the skills of fine jewelry making according to the ‘Roman School’ and traditions. Under the favored wing of his mentor Maestro Orlando Feriozzi, Bouke Hollinga got his own wings. After three years as a high level apprentice, Hollinga left his teacher and settled in the town of Aptos, California, located north of Carmel on the Monterey Bay.
During the 1980’s Bouke Hollinga became a registered jeweler with the American Gem Society and a partner in the fine jewelry store Goldsmith Hall Ltd, an American Gem Society store. The store was located in Aptos. During those years Bouke Hollinga developed his unique style, which is now a trademark of Hollinga Jewelry Design. His classically modern style is a unique combination of the cool geometric balances designs of the northern cultures of Europe and the soft curving exotic designs of the Roman culture. His wonderfully original work received national recognition in 1985 from the American Gem Trade Association. His original jewelry design won their Spectrum Award in recognition of demonstrating and promoting the use of genuine colored gems and making use of many stones more popular.
1986 marked the year Bouke Hollinga received the mandate from his jewelry teacher, Maestro Orlando Feriozzi, to form the Society of Santo Eligio in California. The society is a not-for-profit and non-denominational organization of working jewelers with the aim to foster fellowship among those involved in the jewelry arts. Eligio was a man chosen that personified the honorable traits of honesty, sincerity and willingness to share knowledge of the fine art of jewelry making. Maestro Feriozzi of Roma, the inspiration of the society, was enlightened by this same philosophy and remains a lifetime honorary member. Bouke Hollinga is a past president and a current member of the Society of Santa Eligio. The California chapter was formed of many of Bouke’s apprentices.
From his perfectly equipped atelier in the Aptos hills, under the name of Hollinga van Holland, Bouke served his local and national accounts throughout the late eighties and early nineties. During that time period his daughter Johanna Hollinga started her formal apprenticeship with him at Hollinga van Holland. Through the years Bouke Hollinga has had many apprentices with whom he has shared his experience, knowledge, inspiration, native talent and his refined skills of jewelry making. All through the years Bouke Hollinga has maintained the highest standards of taste and technical perfection.
1992 was the year to expand the enterprise of Hollinga van Holland with a new location in the nearby vacation village of Capitola. Hollinga van Holland was located in an attractive retail space, with ample display cases, an atelier with two benches and other amenities. A family business, with Johanna Hollinga finishing her apprenticeship, the business continued to serve clients, but now with the addition of the retail sales component until it was sold in 1996. Johanna Hollinga, now an accomplished jeweler, is a past president and current member of the Society of Santo Eligio. She continues to serve clients under the name of her business, J. Hollinga Fine Jewelry, and stayed in close contact with the family business in Holland.
Bouke Hollinga, yearning for his European roots, returned to live and work north of Amsterdam, Holland. Hollinga Jewelry Design is located in a garden atelier setting in a small countryside village. This move has served to further inspire innovative designs. Bouke still pays special attention to the distinctive quality of his work and continues to serve fine jewelry clients through Hollinga Jewelry Design in Holland and California.
1998 was a memorable year with Bouke Hollinga representing the Society of Santo Eligio in Rome. All the members of the society in California had their individual works displayed at ‘Roma In Un Gioiello 1998’, an event created by the Italian organization of Society of Santa Eligio based in Rome.
In January of 2004, Bouke Hollinga returned to the United States after seven and a half years of producing fine pieces for the European market. He further refined his skills by attending exhibitions, symposiums and visiting major jewelry design houses in Germany. During this period he maintained his customer base in America as well as building important contacts and new clients abroad.
His mission to further refine his profession, sharpen business acumen and maintain his international oeuvre found him connecting with jewelers and artisans in Spain, Italy, Greece, and Germany. It was through his longstanding friendship with the Vanderloo family that he attended the exclusive Inhorgenta show in Munich, the IDAR Oberstein and Pforzheim Jewelry Manufacturing Center. He developed important business contacts, met other talented jewelers and artisans, and learned even more about the contemporary European jewelry industry.
With exciting prospects for the future, Bouke Hollinga returns to America to continue to design and produce new and innovative one of a kind pieces for individuals in his appreciative national and international client base.