Before he immigrated to the United States in 1939, London-born artist Michael Higgins (1908–1999) studied at the London Central School of Arts and Crafts. In 1947, Higgins was appointed head of visual design at the Chicago Institute of Design. There he met his future wife, Frances Stewart, then a graduate student. The two married in 1948 and founded the Higgins Studio, which specialized in enameling, slumping, and laminating sheet glass to produce decorative plates and other tableware. The Higginses sold their own design lines nationwide through department and specialty stores; they also designed for Dearborn Glass Company for six years, creating lines of iridescent and lustre glass.