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Higgins Studio Fused Art Glass Modern Hanging Planter or Wall Pocket, Signed

About the Item

Higgins Studio Art Glass Modernist Fused glass hanging planter or wall pocket, signed. 20th Century signed 'Higgins Studio.' dimensions: 37 x 7 inches. Unique Michael and Francis Higgins piece. Can be wall or ceiling-hung. Michael and Frances Higgins, who met at the Chicago Institute of Design, were pioneers in the rediscovery and refinement of the ancient art of glass fusing. Because it is so labor-intensive, fusing had, by the mid-twentieth century, been all but abandoned in favor of glass blowing. Essentially, fusing is the creation of a “glass sandwich”. On one piece of enamel-coated glass, a design is created, either drawn with colored enamels, or pieced with glass segments. Over this, another piece of enameled glass is laid. Placed on a mold, the object is then heated. Under heat, the glass “slumps” to the shape of the mold. The design itself is fused between the outer glass pieces, with additional layers often adding to the texture and color complexity. Originally the Studio operated out of the Higgins’ Chicago apartment, with kilns set up behind the sofa. Everyday items, such as bowls and plates, were transformed, through an arresting mix of geometric and curved lines, and bold use of color, into objects still useful, yet also visually vibrant and exciting. Promoted as “an exclamation point in your decorating scheme”, the unique blend of artistry and practicality that Higgins glassware offered quickly attracted buyers. Working round-the-clock in split shifts, Michael and Fran met ever-increasing orders from such major retailers as Marshall Field’s, Georg Jensen, and Bullock’s Wilshire. Their Studio operation moved to more traditional surroundings in 1957, thanks to a partnership with Dearborn Glass Company of Chicago. The Higgins name received national exposure through Dearborn’s extensive, and heavily promoted, line of “Higginsware”. The line included, in addition to a full range of tableware, everything from lamps and ashtrays, to candleholders and Rondelays. (These fused glass circles and squares designed to attach in sections, for use as room dividers, window treatments, and other décor applications, are still staples of the Higgins Studio today.) In 1966, following their Dearborn tenure, and a brief stay at Haeger Potteries, Michael and Frances Higgins elected to return to private studio work. Here, they were free to set their own goals, meet their own standards, and design in the direction their hearts and minds led them. Since 1966, the Higgins Glass Studio has been located in Riverside, Illinois. Michael Higgins died in 1999, Frances Higgins in 2004. The Higgins Studio is now, as per the Higgins’ wishes, under the ownership and direction of longtime design associates Louise and Jonathan Wimmer.

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About the Seller
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Located in Brooklyn, NY
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