story and photos By Stacy Milbouer
Fiddlehead Contributing Editor
Kimberly Leach’s ferocious fish, maniacal insects and fierce ogres may not be pretty, but they are absolutely gorgeous — inside and out.
Outside the one-of-a-kind, papier-mâché creatures are artistic masterpieces of whimsy, color and design. Inside they are engineered structures made with recycled materials such as plastic bottles, packing material, hangers and bedding.
According to the Nashua artist, she started Kimberly’s Creatures when looking for a craft she could do with her stepdaughter.
“What kid doesn’t like papier-mâché?” she wondered.
And while her stepdaughter preferred singing to crafting, Leach fell in love with the medium.
“Who knew paper could become anything you can imagine?” she asked in her artist’s statement.
What paper has become are magical dragons and dragon eggs, fierce fish, birds, bugs, dinosaurs, ogres and seahorses to name a few.
On a recent ArtWalk in Nashua, Leach displayed one of her newest creations — a large, malevolent ladybug with long, illuminated tentacles; a scorpion-tailed horseshoe crab with lighted eyes; and a toad dragon named Chompy.
Leach does have help close to home. Her husband, Hans, lends a hand with structure and making ferocious teeth and claws out of a kind of plastic.
Leach is a juried member of the League of N.H. Craftsmen and the Craftworkers Guild of Bedford, and a member of the Hollis Art Society. Her work has won numerous awards.
While she doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar store, Leach’s creatures can be purchased through her website at kimberlyscreatures.weebly.com or at events like craft fairs and art shows, which are listed on the site.