Four Inane Questions with jewelry designer Clarissa Knighten

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Courtesy Clarissa Knighten

Clarissa Knighten’s personal motto should really be: “Look—something shiny!” The fashionista/jewelry designer founded her company, Rissa’s Artistic Design, back in 2007, “as a way to navigate clinical depression,” she says. Her bold, brazen, one-of-a-kind pieces have gone on to grace countless local runways, magazine covers, and gallery exhibitions.

One look at her work and it’s easy to spy her signature style—complete with wiry, geometric swirls, resplendent gemstones, and ultra-colorful flair. We caught up with the self-taught designer as she worked on pieces for her newest collection to ask her our oh so insipid questions.

The Pitch: What TV jingle/song is forever stuck in your head? 

Clarissa Knighten: Now sing along with me—“Thank You for Being a Friend!” I can sing this song anywhere—at any time! I even own several T-shirts with my Golden Girls! Rose Nylund is my girl.

But my all-time #1 show? It starts with a whistle! The Andy Griffith Show ran from 1960 -1968. I’ve watched all 249 episodes several times. It’s my go-to show when I’m working in my studio and require background noise.

What’s a weird food combination you wholeheartedly enjoy? 

Everything! Everything fits together. After consulting my siblings, they all agreed that I don’t have a weird palate for taste and texture. Lemon juice, one drop of hot sauce, pickle juice, or apple cider vinegar on pork rinds is normal, right? If I want it, I eat it.

What’s one errand (or household duty) you absolutely refuse to do?

I loathe cutting the grass, yet I want a manicured yard. Yuck! Yard work used to be so exciting. Now, with global warming, the sun’s rays are different. Who am I kidding—could it be age?

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Courtesy Clarissa Knighten

If you could replace any TV character with yourself, who would it be?

The first TV character that came to mind was Scooby Doo, but only because he gets to go on adventures in every episode. Yeah, but then again, I don’t like being scared.

So, after thinking more about it, I would replace Linda Hamilton (Catherine) in the 1987 Beauty and the Beast series.

To get to be in a romance with Ron Pearlman (Vincent)?! Ooh, Vincent would sense anytime Catherine was in danger. He was like her guardian, lover, and friend. If you’ve never seen the TV series, it’s time to stroll back down memory lane. And if you haven’t guessed, I am an oooey-gooey romantic!

Bonus 5th Question: Sitting on an airplane—window or aisle? (Or—God forbid—middle seat?) Discuss.

Pre-Covid? On a good day, put me in the middle seat. Yeah, I was the odd duck in the middle.

Post-Covid? I haven’t flown yet. When I do, I will bring my wipes to wipe down everything in my area. Window seat, mask up correctly covering my nose, arm crossed in my own bubble—and praying.

Categories: Culture