Thijs Nel studied Art at the University of the Witwatersrand and later studied at the Cite-Internationale-des-Arts in Paris for two years. He established as an Artist, Poet, Author, Ceramicist and sculptor. He visited India a number of times.
In 1982 he started exploring clay and ceramics. He has had many exhibitions, ranging from shows at his own studio to a retrospective at the Rand Afrikaans University in 1982 and a special 50th of the Ruperts, Oppenheimers, Roodepoort Museum ,Lichtenburg Art museum and cite- Internatiolale Art in Paris.