In 1810, Zepherin Ferrez enrolled in the courses in engraving and sculpture at the École des Beaux-Arts of Paris, where he studied with the sculptor Philippe Laurent Roland (1746-1816) and the engraver and restorer Pierre-Nicolas Beauvallet (1750-1818). He went to Rio de Janeiro with his brother, the sculptor Marc Ferrez (1788-1850), in 1817, attaching himself to the members of the French mission. He took part in the decorative work in the streets and squares of the city for the festivities surrounding the acclamation of Dom João VI and the marriage of Dona Leoopoldina and Dom Pedro I.
In 1820, Ferrez received a pension for his engraving, becoming the first professor of medal engraving of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts (Aiba). The artist executed various works together with his brother, and individually, realising decorative works for the façade of Aiba, most notably the bas reliefs Febo em seu Carro Luminoso [Phoebus in his Chariot of Light] and Gênios das Artes [Geniuses of the Arts]. In the former portico of the Academy, which was subsequently transferred to the Botanic Gardens (where it remains to this day), he also executed the balustrades, capitals and Ionic bases of the entrance. In one of the reliefs of Gênios das Artes, he adorned the work with Brazilian fruit.
Ferrez was one of the first medal designers in Brazil, realising the following medals: The Acclamation of Dom João VI (1818), the first bronze medal struck in Rio de Janeiro (1820); the inauguration of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts (1826); the foundation of the Brazilian Historical and Geographical Institute (1838) and the commemoration of the marriage of Dom Pedro II and Dona Teresa Cristina (1843), among others. He was also the designer of the first uniform buttons in Brazil to be made after independence.
In the field of sculpture, he executed two bronze busts of Dom Pedro II and a statuette in bronze of Dom Pedro I, which was sent to Rome to serve as a model for the execution of a statue in marble by the sculptor Francisco Benaglia. Together with Marc Ferrez, the artist is responsible for training the first generation of Brazilian sculptors associated with Aiba, with his pupils including Honorato Manuel de Lima (c.1863 - n.d.), Chaves Pinheiro (1822 - 1884) and José da Silva Santos.