The relevance of symbol and myth in contemporary life has entered into the popular imagination through the writings of the late Joseph Campbell, whom Carlson acknowledges as a major influence. But from another angle, Ernst Cassirer’s treatise The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms ( 1923-29 ) is pertinent in light of Carlson’s rather intuitive approach to glass. According to this German philosopher, the mind creates symbols to interpret experience, and these symbols are the forms of consciousness in the act of expressing itself. Symbolism thus constantly renews itself through the work of art which is the act of self expression. Robert Carlson evokes a multitude of established mythical and spiritual references through his use of symbols, but he remakes them out of his own experience. That is the essence of his search for self-discovery and creativity in art.