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Ancient art revisited

image Joe A. Lambert, Terracon, made this stone relief carving reproduction.

DALLAS/FT WORTH - With Terracon for about 16 years, Joe A. Lambert has worked on a wide range of environmental as-sessment, subsurface investigation, reme-diation, and indoor air quality projects. Meanwhile, at home, he works on stone reproductions of carvings from Mayan, Toltec and Aztec pyramids.





    Born in Vienna, Austria, Lambert’s father was a career State Department dip-lomat, and he grew up traveling the world. He was raised in Germany, Sri Lanka (which was called Ceylon at the time), Panama, Brazil, and Mexico. Between assignments, Lambert and his family would come back to Washington D.C. for short stateside stays.
    After graduating from Miami of Ohio in Oxford, OH with his bachelor’s degree in natural sciences – he also took a graduate course in geology and environmental science from the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP)–Lambert began his career in Mexico.
    While there, he met his wife, Sylvia, and he began visiting archaeological ruins, where he was able to take molds of the original carvings on the sites. He notes that today, access to the pyramids and such sites would be much more difficult, and under these circumstances, he has taken molds from artist reproductions or repro-ductions available through government stores.
    “I took a mold off the plasteone and made it into stone,” recalls Lambert. “The advantage to having [the carving] in the stone is that they can also be put outside. They’re not going to deteriorate, just like if it were an original carving.”
    To reproduce the stone carvings, Lambert uses a mortar and cement with different dyes, and the final result is actually poured stone that looks very authentic.
    “I’ve given away a few of them, not only to friends but also for charity benefit auctions,” he says. “I’ve sold some of them to people who wanted them and kept the rest. And I’m always looking around for a new one to do. Most of them have relatively limited production where I do anywhere from six to 10 of them. I also have a decent collection [of my own]. I still travel frequently to Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America, always on the lookout for reproductions of indigenous or pre-Columbian pieces.”
    Lambert and his wife love to travel, both domestically and internationally. They have three daughters: Denise, Sophia, and Leslie. With Sylvia being from Monterrey, Mexico originally, Spanish the primary language spoken in their home, and so Lambert is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. He has a bonsai collection, and the family lives on a few acres in the Hill Country, where Lambert says there is always something to do. –mh

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Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net