Custom-Made E.T. the Extraterrestrial Rings!

I’m pretty thrilled with how this project turned out. It’s actually the first cast metal jewelry that I’ve made that I consider a true success so it’s an important step in my learning curve. Caitlin has an old wind-up E.T. toy and I noticed that the size of the head was perfect to make a ring out of it (like a skull ring, but instead of a skull, E.T.). So I took a quick mold of the head using silicone putty (PoYo putty, which I like because it’s so fast and simple) and then cast it in plastic. In addition, I added some two-part epoxy clay to change the shape to rounder and shorter (E.T.’s normal skull is quite long). I think I then made another mold and did my finally carving of the details in a second generation of plastic copy. I also sized it to about a size eight, since that’s roughly Caitlin’s size. Then I made a two part mold out of Dragon Skin 20 (a very soft but tough platinum silicone), carefully brushing the silicone into the details to ensure the mold was as perfect as possible.

After a test copy, the first thing I made was a lead-free pewter ring. It took a few tries to clear out the oils and other bubble-and-imperfection causing agents, but in the end I got a ring that I was quite happy with. I also gave it a black patina, which I gave a quick sanding with a rotary 320 grit wheel on the Dremel, bringing much of the metal back to shiny silver but with the details much darker.

Here is the final product:

And a few other angles as well. To stay honest, these photos were actually taken a bit earlier because I made the ring too loose originally and I had to resize it to make it perfect for Caitlin. Luckily the pewter has a low enough melting point that it wasn’t too hard to additively melt/weld a layer inside the ring’s diameter using my soldering gun. But in these early pictures I had been a little more aggressive in sanding the patina so these shots are more silver than the “real” version above.

The weirdness on the back of the ring, the two nubs that you can see above and below, and the wrinkles on the side, are directly lifted from the original toy version of E.T.’s head. Don’t ask me what part of his anatomy it is. For all I know it’s where his kind keep their balls.

In addition to casting the ring in pewter, I did a second copy in Smooth Cast 325 plastic resin. It’s naturally translucent, but I dyed it black and mixed it 1:1:1 with the third element being silver nickel powder, that is, suspending loads of powdered metal into the plastic matrix. You can’t really tell from the pictures because it didn’t photo well, but when this is sanded it looks a lot like oxidized metal. The real advantage though to this material is that it’s much simpler to cast and more importantly, does a superb job in capturing the details with a minimum of post-release cleaning.

I mostly made these as a present for Caitlin but I’m not inherently opposed to putting some up for sale if she doesn’t mind, and there actually is an interest…


  1. Caitlin wrote:

    I love my Yoda ring!

    Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink
  2. Rebecca wrote:

    Those kick ass!

    Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Permalink
  3. Tom wrote:


    Monday, July 25, 2011 at 7:49 am | Permalink
  4. Mike wrote:

    You HAVE to put some of those up for sale!!

    Monday, July 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink
  5. They look great and it’s been a lot of fun watching your skills improve. Do you do any commissioned work, or is this almost purely a hobby?

    Monday, July 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink
  6. Shannon wrote:

    Chris, thanks, and I definitely always consider commission work but admittedly I turn it down more often than taking it on. But if it’s something interesting I’m always potentially into it.

    I’m horrible at checking my email so don’t be afraid to hammer my email with a message a day until I notice (or call if you have my number, calling or texting is always the best chance)…

    Monday, July 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink
  7. Shannon, unfortunately I don’t have your number. Could you possibly text me a hello so I can follow up with you via text? My number is 540-748-8257. Thanks.

    Monday, July 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink
  8. Catharine wrote:

    Hi Shannon–I saw your ET ring on Craftzine. Wowies! Please, please, please sell us some ET rings :)

    Monday, July 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink
  9. Zandelion wrote:

    It is too bad Jim Woodring has already been having his visions manifested by japanese toy companies because I’d love to purchase your take on his worldview.

    Monday, July 25, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink
  10. Jenny wrote:

    This is really fabulous, I would buy one from you! This is my favorite movie :D

    Monday, July 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink
  11. ivy wrote:

    That is amazing. I would love one.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink
  12. Stophat wrote:

    Do want. That is AMAZING.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 1:04 am | Permalink
  13. Dave wrote:

    fantastic. would really love to buy one please!!!!

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 3:09 am | Permalink
  14. Andy wrote:

    I WILL TOTALLY BUY AN E.T. ring!!! Seriously… Please let me know if these go up for sale!

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 6:26 am | Permalink
  15. Orwell wrote:

    I have some ideas, I’ve dropped you an email.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink
  16. Tobias wrote:

    Definite interest.

    Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 7:48 am | Permalink
  17. Twwly wrote:

    I’d buy a handful of fingers, a skully pig, any number of your creations. If you are ever thinking of selling, please make a note.

    I hardly wear my wedding ring so rings are out, but I love your little sculptures.

    Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 11:52 am | Permalink
  18. Jon Pawson wrote:

    Definitely interested in an ET ring. Coolest thing I’ve seen around for a long time!

    Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  19. Melly wrote:

    PLEASE make ET rings! this is wonderful.

    Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink
  20. Vasco wrote:

    You should try casting some in silver. It is not going to be too expensive and silver casts with fine detail

    Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:57 am | Permalink
  21. Erica wrote:

    I am VERY interested in an E.T. ring!! Did you ever decide to sell them?!

    Monday, April 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink
  22. Shannon wrote:

    Yes, they’re in my etsy shop right now. They turned out beautifully.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 6:22 am | Permalink

5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    [...] This week’s Fab Find was first introduced to me by Craft, but I went on to click to see the master behind the genius of the E.T. ring, Shannon Larratt. [...]

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  5. Shannon Larratt is Zentastic › Current Pewter Projects on Friday, August 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    [...] the flattering and gratifying response that my ET ring got, I’m working on a few more sculpted rings. I’m doing a baby Admiral Ackbar (special [...]

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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