Higgins’s time as a student at CU coincided with a growing studio pottery movement in the United States that was fueled by lectures and workshops given by the British potter Bernard Leach, the Japanese potter Shōji Hamada, and the Japanese philosopher Yanagi Sōetsui during tours of the United States in the 1950s.
After a year of coursework in silversmithing, Higgins embraced the speed with which she could realize a vessel in clay. She had a custom wheel built based on Giampetro’s design of the kick wheels in his studio courses. She then set up a ceramic studio with a kiln in the large basement of her parent’s home in Chevy Chase DC. After her marriage in 1955, she began making a ceramic or pottery mark with the initials HH and continued to incise the date of the work on the bottom of her ceramics. The dates on the work in this case are 1957. The artist was 27 years old.