Hendrikus (Henk) Adrianus Houdijck was born in 1883 in Gouda. He was the last but one of 6 children of a bricklayer and his wife. Three of the children died before they were 2 years old. His father died in December 1885, 6 days before Henk’s 2nd birthday. His mother moved to new accommodation in July 1887 with her 3 surviving children but passed away herself in February 1891. Henk and his 6 years older brother and 2 years older sister were then taken in by the “ Verenigde Wezen- en Aalmoezeniershuis”, the city orphanage and poorhouse founded in 1586. It was financed by the well-to-do of Gouda and being a member of the board of trustees was a sign you had arrived. As was common practice the orphans were taught a trade after their primary school years, so from around 13 years old. We have no certainty but Henk might have been the first locally hired decorator at PZH in 1898. A vase painted by him before 1900 shows he was then employed as a painter. Furthermore, he appears to have been part of the first intake of the Evening School for Craftsmen, founded in 1896. The Gouda records show he was a ceramics painter until May 1904 when at 21 he appears to have had a strange change of career, moved out of the orphanage and in with a blacksmith family where he is registered as a smith. But judging by the work he produced at PZH he was already a very well trained and talented decorator by then. He did not last long as a smith. In April 1905 he moved to Purmerend where he is registered as a factory worker. This could still mean he painted for Haga (C van Muijen was registered as a factory worker in Nov. 1904 and did work as a decorator) but no work by him is known. Later in 1905 he definitively went back to his original trade when he started with the Plateelbakkerij Delft in Hilversum. From 1907 to 1912 he is again registered as a ceramics painter in Gouda, working for PZH. In 1912 he returns to Hilversum to work for Plateelbakkerij Delft. In 1915 he moved back to Gouda, where he was still registered as a ceramic painter but also opened a store in art supplies. Sometime between 1920 and 1935, his profession changed to a shopkeeper. From interviews with ex PZH employees in 1982, we learn that he was considered as one of the top painters in his later years at PZH, one of two who could paint the Delft decors. A mug with his double H monogram from around 1950 might be a late work by him. After his wife died he moved to live with a daughter in Rotterdam in 1953 and passed away in tbc.
Houdijck, Hendrikus Adrianus
Worked at PZH from early 1898 until 1905, 1907 until 1912 and after 1915