Denise Petersen is not a doctor, but she follows a self-prescribed course of therapy -- making jewelry.
"I work full time as a nurse at the VA hospital," said Petersen, of Kaysville. "I do jewelry on a part-time basis. ... It's what I love to do -- it's my art therapy."
Her jewelry is made out of chains and beads, mixed with everything from keys to watch parts, torn sari cloth, pieces of plumbing pipe, and even bullet casings.
"It's fun to try to come up with something no one else has done -- something unique," she said.
In the past, she's sold her jewelry at an artists' market in Salt Lake City, at the Ogden Arts Festival or a local farmers market. This summer, with two daughters getting married, she limited herself to just one event -- the Utah Arts Festival.
The four-day Utah Arts Festival is open noon to 11 p.m. daily, beginning Thursday, on the grounds of the Salt Lake City Library and Salt Lake's City & County Building, at 200 E. 400 South. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, and free for kids age 12 and younger.
Petersen is one of just a handful of Northern Utah artists accepted into the festival's Artist Marketplace. Her jewelry sells for $20 up to $300, depending on the time and materials involved.
"Some of this stuff has 100 percent sterling silver," she said.
She has a few earrings and rings for sale, but mostly necklaces.
Petersen started making jewelry as a teen, using beads bought at a mall. She enjoyed it, but didn't get serious about making jewelry until about 12 years ago.
"I saw somebody wearing some jewelry that had some long, glass beads. It was really pretty, so I decided to make some," she said.
She soon found her own style, brought out further by a class in metal working.
Some of her recent work involves soldering wire onto a piece of metal in the shape of a heart, to create a bezel. She's also been cutting pipe used for plumbing, and soldering a backing onto the circle of metal.
"I mostly do my soldering with a torch, but I can't with glass or it will break," she said, so she'll use a soldering gun instead.
Little glass bottles, tintype photos, shells washed up from the sea, words torn from books and silk from old saris, all wind up in Petersen's necklaces. She calls her jewelry business "Reinvented Objects," because she uses old items in new ways.
"I just like antiques and vintage things. I enjoy working with them, and enjoy finding new items to create with," she said.
Some of her favorite items are hardware pieces, like keys and keyholes, compasses and watch components.
"I do a lot steampunk," she said, speaking of a style that mixes industrial and Victorian design.
For a long time, Petersen's jewelry-making was strictly a hobby.
"I would wear stuff and people asked where I got it, so I started selling to friends and people I know," she said.
About three years ago, she was injured at work, and had to have surgery on a herniated disk in her neck. Not knowing if she'd be able to work as a nurse again, she decided to try selling her jewelry designs at the Ogden Valley Farmers & Artists Market.
"I did really well," she said. "I made like $600 on the first day."
She wound up healing, and going back to nursing, but realized she could have a jewelry business as well.
"I don't know if I would have made the move to start selling, if it weren't for that," she said of her injury. "Sometimes, something good comes out of something bad."
Now Petersen's creating all kinds of original pieces of jewelry, and sharing her ideas through how-to articles in magazines such as Jewelry Affaire and Bead Trends.
Once a year, she'll teach a class to small numbers of students in her home.
But for those who prefer buying to making jewelry, Petersen has several new pieces.
She's been creating heart-shaped necklaces, with inspiring words under resin. She's also been making pendants that are small, hinged books, with paper, buttons or even photos on the inside.
There are also hollow pendants that can hold a special surprise, and what they're made of is an extra surprise -- they're large AR-15 bullet casings, donated by Petersen's husband.