About Ray Freden

Ray Freden, a 70 year resident of Marshfield’s Seaview Village, has been in the wood business for over 6 decades. He entered the furniture and cabinetmaking trade on Jan. 2, 1956.

His employer was Franklin Hatch of North Marshfield, a self taught furniture maker.  Frank had been associated with the lumber trade, working for his father, F. Decker Hatch, who was a sawmill owner all his life. Ray spent six years serving as an apprentice with Franklin.

Soon after losing his friend and employer by a tragic accident in 1961, Ray opened his own business, making Colonial style Pine Furniture  for the next fifteen years.

The mid 1970’s oil crises created a recession which was tough on small businesses. Ray made a decision to move from his trade to a profession, a vocational teacher/instructor teaching cabinet and furniture making. That meant obtaining certification for vocational teaching. A two year stint at Fitchburg State Colledge (FSC ) earned Ray enough credits to be hired on a waiver by Monachusetts RVTHS in Fitchburg MA. Another two years of part time classes gave Ray his certification and he continued teaching for twelve years.

During those 12 years Ray taught and groomed eight special talented students to compete in the Vocational & Industrial Clubs of America competitions. Four of these eight students won Gold Metals, which went on to  compete in the national competitions. Another three Silver Metals and one Bronze Metal. During the same period Ray developed and proctored the Competency Test for anyone applying for a Cabinetmaking teachers certification through FSC.

In 1988 Ray got RIF-ed (Reduction In Forces). Last to be hired was the first to go!

Ray had started carving Shorebird and other waterfowl decoys in 1983. The loss of a job he loved was a hard hit, but his carvings were poplar and selling well.  His best friend, supporter and wife got behind him and  scheduled art and craft shows as well as acquiring wholesale accounts.

From 1988, Ray has been a self employed  wood carver.

Ray and his wife, Carol, made a big decision to move to a less busy environment. They settled on “Down East Maine”. Leaving the village he loved and lived in for 70 years, an 1820 antique cape home, friends,  family and haunts, was a big adjustment. But, a much newer contemporary cape home on the Cobscook bay was a maintenance relief for Ray.

After a cup of coffee along with his wifes fresh blueberry muffin, and a mornings view of the the Cobscook Bay, Ray will make his way to his shop.

At 88, he will  work on carvings up to six hours a day.
Here he is cutting the corners off a Canada body.
He supplies  gift shops from Eastport Maine To Mystic Ct.

  UPDATE  12/22 .    Ray can be contacted at  <ray@wrayfreden.com>