Born in Keams Canon, Arizona, Nez met his wife Marian through his sister. It was Marian, a silversmith in her own right, who first taught Nez jewelry-making. In 1977, he made his first pieces and by 1993 he began showing his work. He is consistently the recipient of awards and his work can be found in private collections, which include a silver bowl at the Smithsonian. An avid horseman and highly skilled team roper, he divides his time between his silverwork and the rodeo circuit,
He attributes his inspiration to God and says that sometimes design ideas come to him while he is in church. “I want each piece to be better than the last.
I do my own designs, the ones that speak to me.”