06 Jul Four Day Ray Showcase: The Art of Vintage Adventures by Chris & Amie Knuckles
What is art? Art is something that we all recognize but is sometimes hard to define. Nickel Plate Arts has the privilege of interacting with artists that range from oil painting, to theater, to music, and more. Chris and Amie Knuckles are recent partners through their business Vintage Adventures. Their intricate carved wood work and their use of solid colors brings their art creations to life. If you visit their shop, you can see them using a giant laser cutter all the way to painting tiny corners. They are always excited to show you what they are working on and love being a part of the Noblesville Downtown community.
Vintage Adventures began in 2015 as Chris and Amie began attending auctions to seek out unique furniture pieces to refinish or repurpose for their home. While doing this, the couple realized that they had a few pieces that they ended up not liking. This led to their first ever sale of one of their products on Facebook.
As they continued to sell their products on Facebook, Amie realized that “[they] kinda had a knack for what [they] were doing.” Soon after, Chris and Amie decided to make Vintage Adventures their “side-gig” as a means to make some extra money and spend more time together.
“Neither one of us started out as artists,” they explained. However, Amie and Chris had always been creative individuals, they just “never really took up painting or anything art related until [they] started doing furniture.”
After many successful sales through Facebook, the Knuckles decided to open a booth space at the Antique Mall in downtown Noblesville for about a year before moving to a booth space in Logan Village Mall, which they believed better represented their brand. It was at this booth that the Knuckles realized they wanted to expand from furniture to wall art.
Through trial and error, the Knuckles realized that Farmhouse-style signs and wall art pieces were their specialty. At first, they created the wall art using a Dremel and carving out each piece individually. Finding that this method was too labor intensive, they decided to purchase a CNC machine in 2018 and used its software to design and carve out their pieces. This made their production time much quicker and expanded their creative abilities as a result.
Finding more success in their signs and artwork sales, the Knuckles decided to switch their attention from artwork and furniture to primarily artwork.
“What excites us about our art is that it’s different from anything else we’ve seen. Most of our pieces are our own reflections and memories from our own travels together but, we do have some pieces which share our love of things retro and vintage.”
Things were going well for Vintage Adventures up until 2020, when the pandemic caused Chris to lose his job and Logan Village Mall was forced to close.
“We made the decision in May of 2020 to try our luck on Etsy by opening a shop on that platform. In May we sold a few items, and in June a few more. By August, we were selling so many pieces on Etsy that we almost couldn’t keep up – and Chris stopped looking for a job for a while.”
In late 2021, the couple moved their business out of their home to a workshop space in downtown Noblesville. By May of 2022, Vintage Adventures had their own retail store on the Noblesville Square.
“There are several challenges for starting an art business but, I think the main one – aside from getting recognized and ‘found’ on Etsy or other ecommerce platforms – is changing your mindset from being an ‘artist’ to being an ‘art business.’ It’s a different mindset. It’s learning what is on trend, what is selling, and how to make pieces faster with less cost.”
Since 2015, Vintage Adventures has had many successes, including a few awards throughout the years.
“Our most recent award was receiving the ‘Honorable Mention’ award at the Ballyhoo Arts and Culture Festival in Gulf Shores, AL in March. We went down there as a juried artist the first weekend of March and had a great 2-day event, pretty much right on the beach.”
Vintage Adventures was also commissioned to create the 2023 American Park Experience Award for the National Park Trust, became a member of the HCAA, and had their work exhibited in Noblesville City Hall last year as part of the 2022 Peony Festival art exhibit.
Looking at the future, the Knuckles are excited to continue to add pieces to their current Mid-Century Modern collection and launch a Nursery collection in May or June of 2023. In July through September of 2023, Vintage Adventures will have their own exhibit in Four Day Ray Brewery showcasing new, never before seen pieces.
The couple is excited to see what the Summer brings for Vintage Adventures with a goal of “optimizing [their] website and other ecommerce platforms (Etsy, goimagine, Amazon Handmade) to help [them] build and market [their] band through the various social media and traditional outlets.”
You can see “The Art of Vintage Adventures” at Four Day Ray in Fishers from July 16-September 29, 2023. Four Day Ray is open seven days a week so stop by for a craft brew, unique gastropub delights, and fantastic local art!