About Al Swanson
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About Al Swanson

Welcome to our studio. We take our profession and the work we create very seriously, and this is reflected in every piece that leaves our Helena, Montana bench – signed by me, by hand, with integrity.

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 Craftsman Studio in downtown Helena in 2004. It was a natural transition as a showroom for his work.

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.”


I love going to work every day. I create because I am creative and I am touched by touching others. Knowing that my pieces and my teaching will touch the lives of many generations is very special to me. My signature accompanies each piece produced and at day’s end, the sense of accomplishment is obvious. To tap into my creative side and explore the nuances of a craft I love so much is beyond meaningful.

I have had several students mention prior to their experience ``I am an accident waiting to happen`` yet at the conclusion say ``thank you so much, I cannot believe I made this, and get to take it home.``