Chris Ledoux and Moonscapes3D, a business on a "business farm" | TheFencePost.com

Chris Ledoux and Moonscapes3D, a business on a "business farm"

Pulling into the driveway to Moon Farm on 18-1/2 Rd. in Fruita, Colo., for our appointment with David Moon and Forrest Hoskins, we drove to the rear, passing the colossal, wooden pirate ship and knight’s castle, to Moonscapes3D workshop and the studio located at 1360 18-1/2 Rd., Fruita, Colo., 81521. We didn’t realize that we were about to see examples of the finest western art created by some very famous artists whose spectacular, many larger than life, bronze sculptures are on exhibit today in museums, parks, and private estates all around the world.

David greeted us. “Forrest is inside. Told him you’re coming. He does 90 percent of the work here at Moonscapes3D. I’ll let him show you the process and explain what the company is all about, while I get back to what I’m doing, setting up for October’s 1st Annual Pumpkin Patch Days here at Moon Farm.” (www.MoonFarm.net)

Walking inside, we met Forrest who was seated in front of a huge, finished, foam horse sculpture. Putting down the small foam sculpture figure he was working on, he stood and welcomed us to Moonscapes3D. (www.Moonscapes3D.com)

“David wanted you to see this horse behind me before we take it apart today, and ship it to the artist so he can do his ‘clay up,’ adding his details at his shop and inscription before it’s ready to go to the foundry. But since he lives in American Fork, Utah, I think I’ll deliver it in person instead of shipping it.”

Forrest continued, “David and I worked on a dinosaur project together for St. Mary’s Hospital years ago. We worked well together, so when the opportunity came to start this business, Moonscapes3D, on Moon Farm about eight years ago, we decided to ‘partner up’ and go for it,” Forrest explained.

“David’s an artist and sculptor. I’m an electrical engineer, a computer programmer, and a wiring and programming expert by training and experience. I’ll show you what we do here at Moonscapes3D and then I’ll take you both into the next room where you’ll see shelves of various sizes of art sculptures we have worked on for hundreds of artists.”

Recommended Stories For You

Some of the well-known, celebrated sculptors in the art world who have worked with Forrest and David at Moonscapes are Michael Thomas, Guadalupe Barajas, Kent Ullberg, Pat Kennedy, Jim Rennert, Karen Kasper, Robin Laws, Mark Lundeen, Jerry McKellar, Judy Nordquist, Dan Ostermiller, Gail Folwell, J. Bradford Williams and Nnamdi Okonkwo.

In addition to working on artists’ sculptures, they also do unique and traditional signage. With their hot wire turntable and lathe, they can produce 0 to 360 degree cuts. One of their famous crest signs was commissioned for the Hala Ranch in Aspen, Colo.

Moonscapes3D does digital laser scanning, sculpture enlargements, and Fine Art replication. Forrest began by showing us the computer screen, the tools and machinery used while explaining the specialized, intricate process of the trademarked Frog3D foam carving system.

“We call this a maquette,” Forrest said, holding up a small, carved piece of foam that he has recently scanned and cut out. We mill it to scale with the foam router. We do that with each piece. Then the final milled pieces are re-assembled, using armatures to connect them. Using a special process, we hard coat it here before shipping it to the artist.

“When the artist receives it, he will take the completed foam model, enlarged to the precise scale he ordered, and do the clay work required, called ‘pointing up,’ adding his own details and inscription before the molding and casting is done at the foundry the artist selects. We guarantee the scale, proportions and accuracy of all our work.”

I told Forrest that, “after seeing the art sculptures you have done already, I don’t know why there isn’t a line out that door with artists waiting to talk to you.”

“Would be nice,” he replied, smiling, and remaining the intelligent, unassuming and modest guy that we found him to be.

I honestly felt like a kid in a candy store. We had just gotten to see splendid examples of outstanding western art by world-famous artists, and talked to the man who’d worked with them in the process. What a gift this was!

“Thanks for visiting with us,” I chirped, “and we apologize for taking up so much of your time. This place is fantastic. We’ll be back,” I enthused, without waiting for an answer.

Before getting in the car, we walked over to look at, admire, and take pictures of the larger than life, hard coated and bronze painted, foam sculpture of musician, artist and rodeo champion that the sculptor artist, Mike Davis, had named, “Good Ride Cowboy.”

“Yep,” I thought. “Chris LeDoux would have loved Moon Farm. He belongs here.”

Inside, Forrest had told us earlier that working with Buffalo, Wyo., sculptor Mike Davis on the statue of LeDoux outside was a major project for them. “Mike is a nice guy to work with,” he stated.

About a year after Chris’ death in 2005, Mike had approached the family in Kaycee, Wyo., about doing a bronze which he would name, “Good Ride Cowboy” to honor his buddy. He wanted to incorporate Chris’ musical talents with his rodeo award-winning talents. He decided to have his horse’s two front feet stomp down on a big, resting guitar at its base. Around the guitar’s side, Mike would inscribe the words, “Beneath These Western Skies,” one of Chris’ original songs.

After completing his model, he selected Moonscapes3D to work with because of their reputation. The larger than life sculpture was planned to be the high point of the Chris LeDoux Memorial Park, in Chris’ hometown of Kaycee, Wyo., built by the Chris LeDoux Memorial Foundation on family land they owned and donated to the town. More than 2,500 people attended the dedication ceremony of the 3,500 pound sculpture on June 19, 2010. (An article by Gayle Smith, “Chris LeDoux is honored with Memorial Park Statue in Kaycee, Wyoming” was published in the July 12, 2010 issue of the Fence Post and can be read online.) In the article Mike Davis said, “When you make something like this, it goes through many stages and a lot of people who touch it.”

Forrest and David, owners of Moonscapes3D, are proud to say they are two of those people. They are especially proud because so many people in western Colorado continue to be fans of Chris LeDoux. He played many years at Country Jam, a western Colorado music event held annually in Mack, two towns west of Fruita, so they can relate to songs he composed, like “This Cowboy’s Hat”:

You’ll ride a black tornado

cross’t the western sky,

Rope an ole blue norther

and milk it ’till it’s dry,

Bull dawg the Mississippi,

pin its ears down flat,

Long before you take

this cowboy’s hat.

Another close friend of Chris was musician Garth Brooks. He composed the song, “Good Ride Cowboy.” The title refers to the three familiar words the pick-up men say when they compliment every rough-riding, rodeo cowboy at the end of his ride. The song’s lyrics are a biography of Chris’ life as Garth describes him as “an Air Force brat in a cowboy hat and that Copenhagen smile.” Brooks mentions Chris’ band, “Western Underground,” and two of his songs, “Bareback Jack” and “This Cowboy’s Hat.”

Garth wrote of being with Chris’ “singing through his pain before he died by pulling his cowboy hat down and LeDoux-ing it.” He finished the ballad with “I bet he crosses that river Jordan, with St. Peter on the other side, singing, ‘Good Ride Cowboy, Good Ride.'”

A few days after our visit to Moonscapes3D studio, we ate at the Fruits Coop’s “Thank you, customers” barbeque. Along with others, we grabbed paper plates for the free parking lot feast. A country-western band, Exit 42, from Palisade, Colo., entertained on the outdoor stage. Coop employees smiled, greeting each person as they got to the food table with the hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and roasted corn on the cob. Carrying our bounty to a picnic table, we found two seats and sat to enjoy our dinner, saying “howdy” to our neighbors at the table.

Right beside the stage was the roped-off replica of the Chris LeDoux that we saw at Moon Farm. Most people there knew who Chris was. Some cowboys and their families gathered around it, moving closer to get a better look. With the lively country band playing onstage, we considered the replica statue the “icing on the cake” at the parking lot picnic on that glorious, warm September evening. v

Pulling into the driveway to Moon Farm on 18-1/2 Rd. in Fruita, Colo., for our appointment with David Moon and Forrest Hoskins, we drove to the rear, passing the colossal, wooden pirate ship and knight’s castle, to Moonscapes3D workshop and the studio located at 1360 18-1/2 Rd., Fruita, Colo., 81521. We didn’t realize that we were about to see examples of the finest western art created by some very famous artists whose spectacular, many larger than life, bronze sculptures are on exhibit today in museums, parks, and private estates all around the world.

David greeted us. “Forrest is inside. Told him you’re coming. He does 90 percent of the work here at Moonscapes3D. I’ll let him show you the process and explain what the company is all about, while I get back to what I’m doing, setting up for October’s 1st Annual Pumpkin Patch Days here at Moon Farm.” (www.MoonFarm.net)

Walking inside, we met Forrest who was seated in front of a huge, finished, foam horse sculpture. Putting down the small foam sculpture figure he was working on, he stood and welcomed us to Moonscapes3D. (www.Moonscapes3D.com)

“David wanted you to see this horse behind me before we take it apart today, and ship it to the artist so he can do his ‘clay up,’ adding his details at his shop and inscription before it’s ready to go to the foundry. But since he lives in American Fork, Utah, I think I’ll deliver it in person instead of shipping it.”

Forrest continued, “David and I worked on a dinosaur project together for St. Mary’s Hospital years ago. We worked well together, so when the opportunity came to start this business, Moonscapes3D, on Moon Farm about eight years ago, we decided to ‘partner up’ and go for it,” Forrest explained.

“David’s an artist and sculptor. I’m an electrical engineer, a computer programmer, and a wiring and programming expert by training and experience. I’ll show you what we do here at Moonscapes3D and then I’ll take you both into the next room where you’ll see shelves of various sizes of art sculptures we have worked on for hundreds of artists.”

Some of the well-known, celebrated sculptors in the art world who have worked with Forrest and David at Moonscapes are Michael Thomas, Guadalupe Barajas, Kent Ullberg, Pat Kennedy, Jim Rennert, Karen Kasper, Robin Laws, Mark Lundeen, Jerry McKellar, Judy Nordquist, Dan Ostermiller, Gail Folwell, J. Bradford Williams and Nnamdi Okonkwo.

In addition to working on artists’ sculptures, they also do unique and traditional signage. With their hot wire turntable and lathe, they can produce 0 to 360 degree cuts. One of their famous crest signs was commissioned for the Hala Ranch in Aspen, Colo.

Moonscapes3D does digital laser scanning, sculpture enlargements, and Fine Art replication. Forrest began by showing us the computer screen, the tools and machinery used while explaining the specialized, intricate process of the trademarked Frog3D foam carving system.

“We call this a maquette,” Forrest said, holding up a small, carved piece of foam that he has recently scanned and cut out. We mill it to scale with the foam router. We do that with each piece. Then the final milled pieces are re-assembled, using armatures to connect them. Using a special process, we hard coat it here before shipping it to the artist.

“When the artist receives it, he will take the completed foam model, enlarged to the precise scale he ordered, and do the clay work required, called ‘pointing up,’ adding his own details and inscription before the molding and casting is done at the foundry the artist selects. We guarantee the scale, proportions and accuracy of all our work.”

I told Forrest that, “after seeing the art sculptures you have done already, I don’t know why there isn’t a line out that door with artists waiting to talk to you.”

“Would be nice,” he replied, smiling, and remaining the intelligent, unassuming and modest guy that we found him to be.

I honestly felt like a kid in a candy store. We had just gotten to see splendid examples of outstanding western art by world-famous artists, and talked to the man who’d worked with them in the process. What a gift this was!

“Thanks for visiting with us,” I chirped, “and we apologize for taking up so much of your time. This place is fantastic. We’ll be back,” I enthused, without waiting for an answer.

Before getting in the car, we walked over to look at, admire, and take pictures of the larger than life, hard coated and bronze painted, foam sculpture of musician, artist and rodeo champion that the sculptor artist, Mike Davis, had named, “Good Ride Cowboy.”

“Yep,” I thought. “Chris LeDoux would have loved Moon Farm. He belongs here.”

Inside, Forrest had told us earlier that working with Buffalo, Wyo., sculptor Mike Davis on the statue of LeDoux outside was a major project for them. “Mike is a nice guy to work with,” he stated.

About a year after Chris’ death in 2005, Mike had approached the family in Kaycee, Wyo., about doing a bronze which he would name, “Good Ride Cowboy” to honor his buddy. He wanted to incorporate Chris’ musical talents with his rodeo award-winning talents. He decided to have his horse’s two front feet stomp down on a big, resting guitar at its base. Around the guitar’s side, Mike would inscribe the words, “Beneath These Western Skies,” one of Chris’ original songs.

After completing his model, he selected Moonscapes3D to work with because of their reputation. The larger than life sculpture was planned to be the high point of the Chris LeDoux Memorial Park, in Chris’ hometown of Kaycee, Wyo., built by the Chris LeDoux Memorial Foundation on family land they owned and donated to the town. More than 2,500 people attended the dedication ceremony of the 3,500 pound sculpture on June 19, 2010. (An article by Gayle Smith, “Chris LeDoux is honored with Memorial Park Statue in Kaycee, Wyoming” was published in the July 12, 2010 issue of the Fence Post and can be read online.) In the article Mike Davis said, “When you make something like this, it goes through many stages and a lot of people who touch it.”

Forrest and David, owners of Moonscapes3D, are proud to say they are two of those people. They are especially proud because so many people in western Colorado continue to be fans of Chris LeDoux. He played many years at Country Jam, a western Colorado music event held annually in Mack, two towns west of Fruita, so they can relate to songs he composed, like “This Cowboy’s Hat”:

You’ll ride a black tornado

cross’t the western sky,

Rope an ole blue norther

and milk it ’till it’s dry,

Bull dawg the Mississippi,

pin its ears down flat,

Long before you take

this cowboy’s hat.

Another close friend of Chris was musician Garth Brooks. He composed the song, “Good Ride Cowboy.” The title refers to the three familiar words the pick-up men say when they compliment every rough-riding, rodeo cowboy at the end of his ride. The song’s lyrics are a biography of Chris’ life as Garth describes him as “an Air Force brat in a cowboy hat and that Copenhagen smile.” Brooks mentions Chris’ band, “Western Underground,” and two of his songs, “Bareback Jack” and “This Cowboy’s Hat.”

Garth wrote of being with Chris’ “singing through his pain before he died by pulling his cowboy hat down and LeDoux-ing it.” He finished the ballad with “I bet he crosses that river Jordan, with St. Peter on the other side, singing, ‘Good Ride Cowboy, Good Ride.'”

A few days after our visit to Moonscapes3D studio, we ate at the Fruits Coop’s “Thank you, customers” barbeque. Along with others, we grabbed paper plates for the free parking lot feast. A country-western band, Exit 42, from Palisade, Colo., entertained on the outdoor stage. Coop employees smiled, greeting each person as they got to the food table with the hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and roasted corn on the cob. Carrying our bounty to a picnic table, we found two seats and sat to enjoy our dinner, saying “howdy” to our neighbors at the table.

Right beside the stage was the roped-off replica of the Chris LeDoux that we saw at Moon Farm. Most people there knew who Chris was. Some cowboys and their families gathered around it, moving closer to get a better look. With the lively country band playing onstage, we considered the replica statue the “icing on the cake” at the parking lot picnic on that glorious, warm September evening. v