Formline Visions: Calvin Morberg
Traditionally trained as a wood carver, Whitehorse-based artist Calvin Morberg was influenced by his Tlingit heritage and its carving traditions that date back thousands of years. He is known for his bold design and exceptional carving abilities. Morberg spent years studying the works of the old masters who laid the foundations of Tlingit art and says his greatest joy as an artist is the opportunity to add to an ever-changing art form and bring it forward for future generations of artists and admirers alike.
In 2021, Calvin Morberg began a year long apprenticeship with respected Yukon elder and reknowned coppersmith Brian Walker. During this time, Morberg was taught the ins and outs of copper repoussé, a painstaking metalworking technique that involves hammering a malleable metal from the reverse side to create a design in low relief.
Morberg’s Nation, the Tlingit, have worked with copper since before European contact, unearthing raw copper from deposits in creeks in the Yukon region and forging them into tools, weapons, and tináa (copper shields). At the end of his formal apprenticeship with Walker, Morberg’s works were shown in his first solo exhibition at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse, in March 2022. Included in his exhibition was a highly detailed copper totem that was created in collaboration with Brian Walker.
Formline Visions is the culmination of Morberg’s year working with Brian Walker and includes both copper pieces and Morberg’s recent wood sculpture. Along with three copper repoussé sculptures, the exhibition includes an incredible Eagle Warrior Helmet, three birch masks and two carved and painted panels, all sculptures that include copper in their design, blending both wood and metal.