Frances Stewart Higgins and Michael Higgins worked together in a proto-studio setting and became widely known in the home furnishings field for their brightly colored, geometric-patterned glass tableware. The Higginses were some of the most ardent supporters of the studio glass concept. They attended the first Toledo Workshop and were instrumental in starting Dominick Labino on his studio glass path.
Frances Higgins states that Tree Vase is the largest slumped vessel (heated until the glass “slumps” into or over a mold) that she has ever been able to make in her studio. It was reportedly made for an exhibition at The Glass Gallery in Bethesda, Maryland, that coincided with Higgins being honored by the Smithsonian Institution in 1984.