Ever since he was a young lad growing up in the heart of London, Roger Philby has had a deep passion for the natural world and all the creatures in it.
He would spend hours looking into a crude microscope bought for him by one of his relatives. It was the many minute forms wiggling, darting, shaking and crawling within a drop of water taken from the aquarium that fascinated him. He had no way of knowing what they were, but the diversity of their forms left an indelible impression on his young mind.
From those early days the sheer number of adapted shapes of animals has intrigued him, and none more than those of Dolphins, Whales and Porpoises. Their evolution has created animals totally at one with their environment.
The Marguerite Explorer
Since the early 1980’s Roger has spent holidays aboard the 80 year old converted Dutch Ketch The Marguerite Explorer plotting the movement of Cetaceans. He has sailed around the Inner & Outer Hebrides studying Minke Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, White Sided, Risso’s and Common Dolphin and the fast disappearing Harbour Porpoise. He has swum with Common and Spotted Dolphin in the Azores, plotted the movements of False Killer, Sperm and Cuviers Beaked Whale in the same area and whilst bringing the Marguerite back from the Azores as a crew member in horrendous weather, managed to spot Fin and Sei Whales. The beautiful whale & dolphin pictures on our website have been used with the kind permission of our good friend Christopher Swann who used to be the owner/skipper of The Marguerite Explorer and now runs his new company Oceanus
Inspired by nature
Roger moved to Orkney from Surrey in 2002 & live in Birsay which is a beautiful part of the West mainland of Orkney. Their smallholding with Gallery/Workshop looks over the dramatic Bay of Birsay. They have been lucky enough to enjoy sightings of Orcas, Risso dolphins, porpoise, minke whales to name but a few. They even have Puffins, Fulmars & other seabirds breeding on the cliff beneath their house! Having joined the islands Craft Trail means that people can come & visit the gallery/workshop during the season & enjoy some of these wonderful sights.
To see new species of Whale, Dolphin or Porpoise is extremely exciting, but no matter how many times you may see the same species the thrill is fantastic, your heart leaps into your mouth and your heart gives voice.
From these encounters Roger has felt a need to create beautiful items of jewellery that represents, as best as he can, the true forms of these animals that fill his soul.