Having grown up in Hydaburg Alaska, TJ Young belongs to the Yassaas Eagle/Beaver Clan of the Kaigani Haida. TJ began working on his carving skill in 1997, after been given his first tools as a gift from his mother. He was introduced to Haida art by his grandfather Claude Morrison, whom he credits as a key influence. At an early stage in his life, TJ’s grandfather taught him how to hand-carve halibut hooks.
During his carving career, he has had the pleasure of working with other artists such as David Boxley, Warren Peele, Stan Marsden, and Veron Stephens, Most recently TJ has had the opportunity to work under the guidance of Dan Wallace, while attending the Northwest Coast Jewelry Arts Program, located in Vancouver.
TJ has also carved with his brother Joe Young, with whom he was hired by the University of Alaska Southeast. The university asked the duo to carve an Eagle crest totem out off a 45-foot red cedar pole. TJ’s carving work can also be seen on other totems, including a 40-foot pole for Sitka Nation Historical Park and a 32-foot pole for Hydaburg Totem Park.
TJ works predominantly in cedar, alder and yew woods. He crafts poles, masks, rattles, panels, sculpture and paintings.