Born to the Eagle Clan of Haida Gwaii. Nelson Cross is from the legendary family of John Cross and Gordon Cross. He began carving at the age of twenty.
He first learned to draw and carve under the guidance of Pat Dickson and Wilford Stevens. Through independent study of the traditional Haida arts and using every opportunity to practice.
He became sufficiently developed to carve with late legend Bill Reid. He also, in 1985-86, worked with Reid on the "Loo Taasa" Canoe. He produces silk screens and carves wood, argillite, gold and silver. The design of his silver is particularly robust and energetic.