A.L. Swanson was born in Portland, Maine in 1970. He grew up in a small farming community along with five siblings. After studying business at the University of Maine and agronomy at Rutgers University, Al decided to fine tune his hidden talent and love for woodworking. He apprenticed under several elite cabinetmakers in Maine until the lure of wide open spaces brought him to Montana in June of 2000.
It didn’t take long for the Montana community to welcome his fresh creative style—”Neo-Shaker” as Al calls it—and business boomed. The desire for people to really experience his work—touch the pieces, try them out, smell the natural finishes and imagine living with finely crafted pieces led Al to open the A.L. Swanson Gallery in downtown Helena in 2004. It was a natural transition as a showroom for his work.
The gallery showcases his furniture alongside many of the region’s premier visual artists. And with the desire to further educate the community on the nuances of woodworking, Al now offers woodworking courses, enabling “people to come to the process.”
Al offers classes monthly to people from around the region, helping them to achieve the satisfaction to bring wood to life beneath their own hands.
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