Janet Lockhart never expected to be supporting herself with her mussel shell mirrors.

“I took a class in ’81 to make cheap Christmas presents for my family,” she said. “I never expected anything else. And I’ve been making money at it ever since.”

Lockhart collects the shells herself on the Pemaquid Peninsula, where her family has lived for 400 years on land granted to them by the king of England. She solders the shells onto the mirrors with the aid of copper foil tape, which she uses to edge the shells, as well.

“I like doing a little decorative soldering,” she said. “It makes it pop.”

The mirrors are sold in three galleries: Salt Water Artists Gallery on Pemaquid Point, and Ironbound Gallery in Rockport and Northport.

A 4-by-6-inch mirror sells for $75, and a 4-by-12-inch costs $110.

She will also be doing two shows this year – the Round Pond Schoolhouse Association’s annual Arts at the Schoolhouse Show and Sale on July 23, and the Designing Women show in Portland Dec. 9.

Lockhart also decorates mirrors with Maine slate, and others with various items from the sea. In addition to mussels, the mirrors might have sea urchins, oyster shell, sand dollars, even sea glass.

“I’m very lucky I do what I love and people give me money,” she said.

— MEREDITH GOAD