The lifelong resident of Nahant has spent most of her career in art, working first as a silversmith before launching “Sea Hag Studios” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sea Hag Studios is an embrace of Goodwin’s upbringing in town, where her dad worked as a fisherman, and the art Goodwin now creates prominently features reclaimed wood, lobster traps, ropes, and anything else she finds herself drawn to.
“I’ve made this connection with people when it comes to the sea and the materials I use,” Goodwin explained while standing in her studio, surrounded by massive piles of ropes.
Sea Hag Studios started when Goodwin lost her studio space during the pandemic and found herself searching for a way to continue creating art. The first pieces she made were small trees crafted out of driftwood. With the silversmithing business shuttered, Goodwin started to sell the trees — and from there, she never looked back.
Now, Goodwin crafts all sorts of things from the studio adjacent to her home. Wooden sculptures of a “silly seagull,” a cardinal, and, just in time for Halloween, skeletons line a wall of her studio with others in various states of completion, littered about several workstations.
“It’s very simple things that are sentimental to a lot of people. I don’t think there’s anything better than a big red heart,” Goodwin said. “Just silly, happy, fun, sentimental things.”
“I do try to connect with people because these are the things that I love too,” she added. “I’ve just been lucky that way. I kind of just keep it simple. I don’t get too fancy with my work.”
When Goodwin started selling her art, which she does primarily through Etsy and other social media sites, she found that just like her, many other residents of the North Shore had an attachment to the sea. In fact, much of the materials Goodwin uses in her art are things she finds by simply walking around the beach — whether it be buoys, driftwood, lobster traps, or anything else she is drawn to.
The process is fairly straightforward, Goodwin says. When she finds something she wants to use, Goodwin tends to work pretty quickly once struck with an idea. When this reporter dropped by her studio she was crafting a palette into a sculpture of the town wharf and joked she had begun working on it at an hour that her neighbors may not have been a fan of.
For Goodwin, making “weirder things” is just as fulfilling as making something she knows will sell. While she says the driftwood trees are her most popular item, she has a particular fondness for the skeletons as a lover of Halloween, with her birthday right before the spooky holiday.
“I tend to start thinking about Halloween probably way too early, like summertime,” Goodwin says. “The skeletons kind of came out of nowhere, and they became popular.”
Goodwin explains that she tries to keep her art accessible, and using recycled materials allows her to keep the pieces she creates relatively affordable. (For example, nothing in Goodwin’s Etsy store is listed for more than $100).
“Anybody can have something special that can last a lifetime,” she says.