Monday, February 8, 2016

Sneak Peek: Pilot Decimo!

We've been asking for years, and it's finally happening... the Pilot Decimo fountain pen is coming to the US this Spring! It's essentially a slimmer version of the retractable Pilot Vanishing Point - same nib unit - with some different colors.

We'll be offering the Decimo in four colors: Burgundy, Champagne, Lavender, and Light Blue.

They will all come with rhodium trim and the rhodium-plated 18kt nib unit, in sizes Extra-Fine, Fine, and Medium, at the same price as the regular VP ($185 list, $148 our price).

So what do you think - are you excited to add the Decimo to your collection this spring? Which color do you like best?

Write On,
Rachel Goulet

Pelikan Pink Cartridges with a Monteverde Poquito Pink: Monday Matchup #81

Hi there! Thanks for checking out my Monday Matchup. Madigan here, pairing a Monteverde Poquito in Pink with Pelikan Pink Cartridges. I was recently gifted (thanks Mom!) a Midori Travelers Notebook in passport size and have been on the hunt for a great purse pen- a no hassle, small sized pen, that can easily slip into the pen holder and not take up too much space. I decided to give the Monteverde Poquito a go. This is one of the smallest pens we have in stock- just 4.4 inches when capped! I wanted to give it a test run before purchasing and thought that Monday Matchup would be the perfect place to do so.

Since it's coming up on Valentine's Day, I wanted to do a love inspired piece, which is why I chose the pink pen and ink. I was looking through quotes and kept coming across the old adage "There are plenty of fish in the sea". I decided to play off that quote and draw two fish in love. I grabbed my Tomoé River tablet in white and got started!

Instead of my usual process- drawing an outline in pencil on the paper and then going over it with my fountain pen, I wanted to try something different. I love Tomoé River for its ink resistant qualities but it really holds a pencil line. Additionally, it is exceptionally thin and erasing pencil lines on it tends to wrinkle the paper and result in smearing. I wanted to avoid that whole catastrophe.

I took a Rhodia Dot Pad and drew my pencil outline of my fish, fish bowl and quote on that. Then I took the Tomoé River paper on top of that to use as tracing paper. Despite it being thin and fairly transparent, it was still difficult to see the pencil lines. I grabbed a pen I had laying around filled with black ink and went over the outline in that. I let it dry and then put the Tomoé River over it. Success! I could very clearly see the lines.

I wanted to do the shading/ink wash lines first, but since I was using a cartridge only pen, I didn't have a bottle to dip into. Instead, I took a brush pen filled with water and brushed over the top of the nib. I very quickly got a pleasant pink tip on the brush pen. I used this to go over the inner outline of the fish. Then, I squeezed some water through the pen onto a tissue and used this much more diluted ink to draw in the water. I let it dry for awhile and then grabbed my pen.

I outlined the fish and the bowl quickly using the Poquito. I drew in the scales and textured the fish in the same way. I didn't like how much these lines contrasted with the faded quality of the ink washing I had previously done, so I went over the most inner line to let the ink bleed more. The whole thing was looking a little plain. I decided to draw in some textured lines to the bottom of the fish bowl and add in some gravel. I also drew in a few bubbles and hearts to the fish. Finally, I wrote my quote into heart shaped center.

When working with this pen, I was initially shocked by just how small it really is. I have tiny hands, but it was difficulty to hold unposted- almost the size of a crayon but thinner. However, once posted it was very comfortable and well balanced. The nib was a bit scratchy, even on the very smooth paper.

The ink flowed smoothly and worked well in ink washing. I'm not a huge fan of the color, honestly. It's a little too bubble gum pink for me. I like my pinks with a bit more depth, but if pink is your thing, I can see this being a great ink.

If I were to do this piece again, I might choose a deeper shade of pink. I was pretty proud of my work around for the thin paper- it worked great as tracing paper! I'd also post the pen immediately instead of using it unposted as per my usual writing habit.

This pen would work great as a spur-of-the-moment writing pen. It's small stature and weight make it ideal for carrying in a purse or pocket. Since it's relatively affordable, you don't have to worry about losing or damaging it. The ink could work well for use in a planner or in art.

You can find the Monteverde Poquito Pink at Gouletpens.com for $24. Pelikan Pink Cartridges are Standard International sized and available for $3.30.

Do you like writing or drawing with pink ink? What's your favorite pink ink?

Write on,

Friday, February 5, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 111, Open Forum

Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.

This week I'm talking about architect nibs, slippery grips and the strangest requests we've ever gotten in order comments at Goulet Pens. Enjoy!

Pens/Writing - (11:11)

1) Katie B.- Facebook - (11:29)
I also suffer from oily hand syndrome and am becoming a little frustrated with slippery grips. I'm curious as to which fountain pens would be more pleasureable to write with for those with oily hands? I hope to own a Visconti Homo Sapiens Dark Ages one day and know it would be bloody beaut' to write with.... but until then... Any suggestions? All price range options would be great!

2) Pato W.- Facebook - (17:53)
(asked 27 questions!) Is there such thing as a fountain pen with a glow in the dark body?

  • honestly, I have never seen one!

3) Pato W.- Facebook - (19:26)
Could you please explain what an architect nib is?

  • It’s like a stub nib, but turned 90 degrees
  • broad cross-stroke, narrow down-stroke
  • no manufacturer offers them that I’m aware
  • has become more popular from a few nibmeisters recently
  • difficult and time-consuming to do

4) Magali H. -Facebook - (22:24)
How come gouletpens does not sell Caran D'Ache fountain pens? Are there any plans to do so?
  • haven’t been asked about them a lot
  • they’re very expensive, and very high quality
  • no immediate plans unless people start banging down our doors

Ink - (23:54)

5) Beth S. -Facebook - (23:54)
Are you aware of any white or light colored inks that would write on dark paper and envelopes?
  • these are where pigmented inks really need to come in
  • fountain pen/dye based inks don’t really do well on dark paper
  • the only I’ve seen is the new white De Atramentis Document Ink, but even that’s fairly milky
  • Noodler’s whiteness of the whale, an attempt at it, anyway
  • a white gel pen would work way better here

Business - (26:08)

6) Kenneth C. - Facebook - (26:17)
How much do you think it hurts your business that there are sellers in various countries that are undercutting the prices that you're able to offer? For example, I've seen Japanese sellers on eBay and Amazon that are selling the VP and 3776 Century for under $100 (with shipping). Is this something that concerns you as you look to the future? Do you think that they're significantly cutting into your sales by bypassing import/export rules? Thanks!
  • it’s definitely something that I know affects me, not sure how much though
  • it’s not just overseas, it’s domestic, too
  • there will always be someone cheaper, always
  • sometimes you have to watch out, they might be fakes, grey market (not warranted), mis-represented, used
  • it is pretty frustrating, because they’re not educating or servicing these pens at all
  • I put out good free content like this Q&A, they undercut me and take your business away, I end up losing

7) Ashley K.- Facebook - (54:28)
The more the GPC grows, which aspect of your mission of proving online business can be personal is the most challenging to maintain? Staffing, social media, video/photography, something else? Ink Drop in and of itself must be a monster now! I know I'm not the only one impressed by the caliber of work the Goulet team puts out there in every area! 

  • all of it is hard!
  • The handwritten notes is really tough
  • do the math, it’s really expensive to do them, but there are so many untraceable benefits
  • staffing is super intentional, training takes a long time
  • keeping our “soul” as we grow, that is tough as we are less involved in some areas
  • social media is really tough, especially with different styles

8) Pato W.- Facebook - (1:03:34)
What’s the oddest request you guys have had in the special requests section? 

  • drawing requests for sure
  • started with Reddit, drawing dinosaurs on invoices
  • request to write a note without using the letter “e” 
  • specific patterns or color ratios of swirls on Noodler’s pens
  • specific flow on a pen

Troubleshooting- (01:10:36)

9) Daniel D. -Facebook - (01:10:38)
While rinsing out the cap of my Pilot Custom 823, some water got trapped behind the inner rubber seal. Because this pen is a demonstrator, you can see the water that is trapped inside the cap whenever you look at the pen. Do you know of an easy way to temporarily remove the rubber seal so that you can clean out and dry up any water (or ink) that gets trapped behind it?
  • yup! I'll show you how

QOTW: What pen has the absolute best grip for you and why? - (01:13:05)

Thanks so much for joining me this week! Stay warm all of you who are getting hit with the big snow storm! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here

Write On,
Brian Goulet

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