Off the cut with Laura Sayers

Part of a series of works considering pattern, shape and negative space, paper artist Laura Sayers uses the material remnants of her work to create new compositions, highlighting how interest can be found even within discarded materials. The colourful paper scraps are arranged in a regimental format, the delicate forms contrasting the stark white negative space which allows the viewer to contemplate what the missing spaces went onto become.

Why did you put yourself forward for the open call?

To be able to exhibit during this tumultuous year felt like a real novelty, and I loved that Paulin were putting something together despite all the restrictions. The brief excited me and resonated with me personally as someone whose unique process plays such a big part in what I make. I’ve always been fascinated by the level of detail and care that goes into the watches that Paulin make, which are both traits that I try to uphold in my job as a paper artist, so the setting of the Stockbridge shop seemed like a perfect fit for my piece.


Tell me about this particular piece.

This piece is one from my ‘Offcut Series’, which takes what’s left behind from my day to day work as a paper artist, creating new compositions which explore pattern, shape and negative space. The variety of colourful paper scraps are neatly arranged in a regimental format, presenting these abstract shapes as the remnants of my highly detailed process, showing that interest can be found even in the discarded materials. The delicate shapes and forms show where the maker’s hand has been and leave the viewer to decide for themselves what the missing spaces went on to become. 


Is this the kind of work you usually do?

I’ve been holding onto the scraps from my more commercial paper cut illustrations for years now, and for a long time I made patterns like this one in a small A5 sketchbook. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve started seeing them as pieces in their own right, and I like to think that they go hand in hand with the rest of the work in my portfolio as pieces like this explore the same colours and have the same curiosity for interesting shapes.


How do you connect to Paulin as a member of the Scottish creative community?

I’ve been a fan and a customer for a while and I’m always happy to show people my Commuter watch and ramble on about the numbers! When I moved to Glasgow, visiting the Paulin shop was one of the first moments I realised that it was a city where a lot of good design and craft was happening, and one that I would end up focusing solely on my own practice in.

To see this piece from the Offcut Series, head on over to our Edinburgh store!

You can find Laura Sayers on Instagram at