Zsófia Kanyák was born in Budapest on the 28th of July 1944. Her parents were diplomats working in foreign affairs, so already as a little girl she travelled extensively, learning "western" languages, which was exceptional at that time on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain. Her artistic talent was evident from an early age, and she won her first 'prize' in an Indian drawing competition in 1958 at the age of 12. She began her career as a textile artist in 1963 after having spent a year designing her own textile patterns following her graduation. A year later she studied dress design at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, where she also became acquainted with the world of glass mosaics. Returning to Hungary in 1966, she became one of the first students of the newly established glass department as a pupil of György Z. Gács. She had a Dalmatian which followed her everywhere, so it was a special phenomenon as she had her lovely spotted dog with her almost everywhere at the College.
After graduating in 1971, Zsófia Kanyák went abroad almost immediately: the newly graduated designer of the Salgótarján Glass Factory went to Murano on a scholarship granted by the Glass Industry Works, where she worked for the La Murrino and Moretti companies. The international response to her solo exhibition in Murano in 1972 brought her the opportunity to sign up with the world-famous Rosenthal Design Studio in 1973. Few people had thought at the time that the rising star of Hungarian glass art would in reality only be a fleeting phenomenon. Although she did not join the famous "Club of 27s", in 1975, while in Amsterdam, she was involved in a tragic car accident and died at the age of 31.