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Discommon Goods' The Piston Keyring

Car and design nerds' dreams comes true with this intricately machined, scaled piston made with forged carbon fiber

by Evan Orensten
on 25 May 2016

Known for making detailed accessories from high-quality and intriguing materials and collaborating with unnamed designers who head up some of the best globally respected brands, Discommon Goods has just released its latest endeavor: The Piston. The brand's first-ever keyring, The Piston is—like all Discommon Goods products—a meticulously designed and crafted piece that's sure to spark up conversation. Perhaps innocuous at first glance or to the untrained eye, The Piston is small, but very impressive. Made as a mini replica of a 2000 Ferrari Formula 1 car's piston, this keyring is an essential for car lovers—and not just because of its appearance.

Small enough to fit comfortably in your pocket, it's a scaled down reproduction of a scanned piston from a 2000 Ferrari F1 engine. Discommon Goods' "Chief Conspirator" Neil Ferrier was inspired to make the piece because of a own blown piston from his BMW M3 which he kept on his desk as a memento. Eventually, he decided that a small, functional version would make an ideal keyring. And, like any obsessive compulsive designer, he set out to make it. Feeling like it needed to have an actual racing heritage, Ferrier called a friend on the racing team at Ferrari, and they managed to get a piston from a 2000 F1 car. After scanning it, the team at Discommon miniaturized the piston and through a very complex and involved process arrived at a functional means of manufacturing it.

Discommon Goods used forged carbon fiber to craft the piece—a process most often associated with luxury watches and race cars—because Ferrier was working on a forged carbon project for a client and he "adored the process for the material, and wanted to use it for something of our own." For the keyring, he says, "The challenge was to make something small. This was not a financially clever project," he says while laughing, "it was because we can do it." The molds for the carbon fiber took more than 46 hours of machining to create. The sterling silver and carbon are then cast and hand finished. The result is perfectly polished and stunning to look at, but really needs to be seen and felt up-close to truly appreciate it. "The intimacy or the intrigue is saved for the owner. We talk about hidden intimacy a lot around here," Ferrier tells us.

The piece is inspiring for car enthusiasts and designers alike, with the inspiration, process and outcome each adding to the object's subtle intrigue. Most impressive, perhaps, is the Discommon Goods approach not only to this product, but to all of their wares. Rather than producing easy sells and lesser quality items, the brand, Ferrier tells us, "won’t do anything unless we can do it differently." The Piston is a reflection of that passion for differentiation and the design-driven curiosity of those who willed it into existence.

Visit Discommon to buy The Piston keyring, which sells for $450.

Images courtesy of Discommon Goods

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