Ball was born in Westminster, London, the son of Edward Henry Ball, carver, and his wife Louisa, née Percival. He later studied at the Royal Academy of Arts schools in England winning several gold medals and prizes. Between 1865 and 1882 he exhibited 24 works at Royal Academy exhibitions. Around 1870 Ball travelled to Paris and then to Munich and Rome, where he lived for approximately eight years. His marble sculptures received high praise.
Ball came to Sydney, Australia in 1884, seeking a warmer climate to relieve his asthma and bronchitis. After six months there he moved to Melbourne, occupying a studio at Grosvenor chambers from 1889 and completed the statue of Sir Redmond Barry which now stands in front of the public library in Melbourne, as a consequence of the original sculptor, James Gilbert, having died after modelling the statue in clay. Ball was then given other commissions, including the statue of Sir William Wallace at Ballarat; Francis Ormond at Melbourne, and some portrait busts, now in the national gallery at Melbourne. In 1886 he was commissioned to sculpt a marble bust of Bishop James Moorhouse, now at the La Trobe Library. In 1898 he was commissioned by the trustees of the national gallery at Sydney to design a panel for the facade of the building. He completed his relief panel Phryne before Praxiteles and then travelled to England to supervise the casting. His architectural sculpture is also on the Victoria and Albert Museum.