FRANTIŠEK ZEMEK was born on October 20, 1913, in Zlatno, Slovakia. At the age of fifteen, he became an apprentice at the Inwald Glassworks in Dobronín in the Czech-Moravian Highlands. He trained as a glass grinder there. In 1938, he left for the glass school in Železný Brod and two years later for the School of Applied Arts in Prague, where he found his mentors in Prof. Štiplo, sculptor Wagner, and architect Sokol.
He aimed to create glass that would be the result of its specific properties and, at the same time, be understood in its three-dimensionality as a plastic form while maintaining its own architectural structure. Color played a significant role in his glass creations. Functionality was another fundamental characteristic of Zemek's glass. His glass was not only made for decoration but primarily for service, for everyday life. Therefore, he dealt not only with questions of handcrafted production but also with issues of industrial design. His field of expertise included both molded and ground glass.
He created several outstanding table services and types for presses. The pinnacle of his work was undoubtedly the ground glass, in which the glass grinder did not embellish the glass but directly shaped and formed the object's unique shape. František Zemek was represented at the XI. Triennale in Milan (1957), at the World Expo in Brussels (1958), and in several collections of Czech glass at international exhibitions, especially at the Exhibition of Czechoslovak Glass in Moscow in 1959.
On his way to one of the lighting fixture production facilities, which he had been actively involved in recently, he suffered a tragic, fatal accident, succumbing to it after several days. He passed away on May 31, 1960, at the hospital in Šumperk, Moravia. With him, one of the most gifted Czechoslovak glass artists and one of the leading creators of Czechoslovak modern glass departed.