ANN DEXTER-JONES

Jewellery Designer

Walking along the West Side Promenade is a wonderful feeling. Water is nature’s valium: it’s cheaper with no bad side effects.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GO INTO THE JEWELRY BUSINESS?

I’ve been inspired by colour, sculpture, paintings, fashion and the written word since being a young girl. At an early age I had a passion to write poetry, I came from an intellectual, professional background where these aspirations were merely considered a charming hobby, but never a career, so when my first poem was published as a competition winner in the Liverpool Echo newspaper I was chuffed and it’s still a pleasure today.

Fast forward to living in New York City, I noticed that Americans held on to family traditions, which started fascination with ID bracelets. I designed my own version, which were just for my own indulgence at first, but strangers and friends asked me to design ones for them & synchronicity showed its magical hand & I was introduced by a wonderful artisan jeweler & friend Lois Sasson, to the artisans who made prototypes for Van Cleef & Arpels & Harry Winston. They were never originally intended for sale to the public, it’s been a dream.

WHAT PIECE OF YOUR JEWELLERY BEST COMPLIMENTS THE KNITLAB PIECES?

Fabulous as they are unadorned, I wear mine with my pavé diamond & solid silver & gold ID bracelets & I just love my “Midnight Hour” watch bracelet, inspired by Wilson Pickett’s legendary hit The Midnight Hour. It’s always on midnight, so you never have to leave the party!

To dress it down, I wear my bike chain, star and ID bracelets inlaid in lapis, onyx and wood.

WHICH NEW YORK NEIGHBORHOOD DO YOU LOVE MOST?

On arriving in New York my favourite neighbourhood was the Upper West Side overlooking Central Park, which was perfect for spending hours with my young children.

Now I live downtown in the Village, it’s truly inspiring. It overflows with charm, excitement, music, public sculpture gardens, endless art galleries and museums hosting artists of every genre. It’s encompasses both funky and chic and I see wonderful familiar and welcome faces around every other corner.

HAS THE CITY INSPIRED YOUR JEWELLERY?

The skyscrapers’ boldness, the ornamental older buildings, the colour and flavour of each individual community: I’m sure it’s inspired me. I share its tradition with a bold contemporary twist.

WHERE’S YOUR FAVORITE NEW YORK MUSIC VENUE?

I thrive on intimacy, so some of my favourite venues are the smaller ones: Beacon Theatre, Bowery Ballroom, Joe’ Pub, Village Vanguard, Wetlands, Irving Plaza, Poisson Rouge, to name a few: they allow one to feel closely connected.

YOUR CHILDREN HAVE A LOT OF CREATIVE TALENT, DO YOU THINK THAT TALENT CAME FROM WHAT YOU EXPOSED THEM TO?

As an excited and loving parent I naturally wanted to open my childrens’ minds to all possibilities. I’m aware of the privileges, inspiring environments & people that abounded in our lives & always kept my children close to me to open their minds to what was great in the world.

I wanted to them to be humble, compassionate, intuitive, loving & caring. I opened doors & led them towards, but I give them total credit for choosing their paths, their compassion & for the wonderful people they have become. I’m so proud of all five of my children.

WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN YOU NEED CALM IN THE CONCRETE JUNGLE?

When I seek calm & reflection in New York, I practice Reiki in New York’s hospitals intensive pediatric wards, working with very sick children to give energy as a gift. I often spend hours at a time, slipping in to the wards and leave feeling lighter.

Walking along the West Side Promenade is a wonderful feeling. Water is nature’s valium: it’s cheaper with no bad side effects.

I love going to galleries, I take my sketch pad always just in case I’m inspired to draw or to write my musings. But my very favourite thing is sit at a side table at Bar Pitti, having tea with my children. It’s one of their favourite places too.

WHAT DOES YOUR PERFECT NEW YORK NIGHT OUT LOOK LIKE?

My perfect night out in New York is to go to the theatre, followed by dinner at a late night restaurant – I love the buzz, it reminds me that this city never sleeps. Then I visit my dear friend Omar Hernandez at his very chic restaurant club for a nightcap.