Brian Nettles was born and raised in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
He studied Architectural Engineering at the University of Southern
Mississippi until he took his first ceramic class and was hooked
for life. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Ceramics
After graduating in 1996, he worked in Atlanta, Georgia making
large-scale outdoor sculpture. In 1997 he returned to the coast
of Mississippi and rented studio space in Pass Christian. There
he founded Nettles Studios, a ceramics and sculpture studio, as
well as a showroom. During this time Brian also was hired as the
Studio Director of Ceramics at the Ohr- O'Keefe Museum of Art, in
Biloxi, Mississippi. As the Studio Director he set up the pottery
program and taught ceramic classes, curated ceramic exhibitions,
directed ceramic workshops, designed the residency program. Brian
also worked with famed architect Frank Ghery in designing the ceramics
complex of the new thirty million dollar museum.
In 2000 Nettles Studios was growing and Brian purchased 28 acres
on the Wolf River, just north of "The Pass". There he
camped out while he designed and hand built his home, studio and
kilns, but keeping the foundry and showroom in downtown. During
this time Brian also traveled to Japan on several trips and visited
the six ancient kiln sites where he studied the art of wood fired
pottery. He returned from his experiences in Japan to the Wolf River
location and built a 28 foot long wood-fired Anagama kiln.
In 2005 Hurricane Katrina came ashore with a 35-foot tidal surge
in The Pass and washed everything Brian had built away. Since the
storm, with help from friends and family, Nettles has started to
rebuild his house, studio and kilns at his Wolf River Studio. Although
Brian will not rebuild his showroom in downtown, he does plan on
a showroom and sculpture park at the Wolf River Location in 2008/2009.