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Monday, February 27, 2017

Aurora Black with Faber-Castell Ambition Pearwood: Monday Matchup #131

Drawing of Yeah! Usher quote in Aurora Black ink and a Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen.

Hey, fountain pen friends. Whitney here with my matchup of the Faber-Castell Ambition Pearwood fountain pen and Aurora Black ink. I was excited to let Madigan choose a pen and ink pairing because she always does an amazing job picking pens and inks I love and are a perfect fit for me. She did not disappoint. Read on to hear more about my inspiration for this piece and my thoughts on this pen and ink.


After Madigan used her magical powers of pen choosing and handed me this combo with her goddess-like hands, I pondered the possibilities for my piece. I am a bit of a wise guy and I said to myself "Self, wouldn't it be funny to write popular rap or hip hop lyrics in the same style we write all of our other lovely and poetic quotes?" Yeah! by Usher is one of my favorite songs. Early 2000's top 40s hip hop is a great source of joy for me. I almost always dance and/or sing along when this song comes on. Also I found it pretty hilarious and ridiculous to attribute one word to a musical artist, but very much something I'd do.

I decided that I really wanted to go with a decorative style for my plan to be effective, so I looked to something reminiscent of the art deco/art nouveau style. I haven't done a flowery matchup recently so I thought it would be a good time to go back to that. I made mini mockups of the word, found a version I liked most, and traced it so I wouldn't mess up on camera. The flowers, however, I did completely freehand from reference images of flowers I looked up. I added a bit more depth to them with a water brush.

I really liked the Faber-Castell Ambition, especially the Pearwood color. It's got a nice weight and shape to it. Great for itsy-bitsy hands like mine. It has a classy look that I'm really drawn to as well, a smart looking pen, I'd say. The fine nib wrote nice and smooth, no scratchiness. The ink is lovely, a very classic black. I had no complaints. This pen and ink combo is perfect for everything. Write your grocery list with this pen and impress everyone at the farmer's market or grocery store. Write novels on the back of a (fountain pen friendly) napkin that puts the best author to shame. Use this pen to scribble down an inspired thought you can't bear to lose. Draw a small picture that your mom would be proud to hang on the fridge. Overall, this pen is swell.

Drawing of Yeah! Usher quote in Aurora Black ink and a Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen.
Drawing of Yeah! Usher quote in Aurora Black ink and a Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen.
Drawing of Yeah! Usher quote in Aurora Black ink and a Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen.
Drawing of Yeah! Usher quote in Aurora Black ink and a Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen.
Drawing of Yeah! Usher quote in Aurora Black ink and a Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen.

You can find the Faber-Castell Ambition Pearwood fountain pen at GouletPens.com for $120. Aurora Black is available in a 45ml bottle for $18 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.25, as well as a 5 pack of cartridges for $6.50. 

Follow the directions below for a chance to win this pen and ink. We're excited to see what pen and ink you have matched!

How to enter Monday Matchup Giveaway:
  • Match a pen and ink together. They don't have to match in color, any fountain pen and ink works.
  • Take a picture of your pen and ink matchup. 
  • Find the entry details and instructions below on how to share your picture with us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or as a blog comment*. 
  • You can choose to enter only one way, or submit up to 4 different entries if you'd like. Feel free to use the same picture for all 4 entries.
  • Confirm your entry via the Rafflecopter widget below which will record your entries. This is how we'll draw a random winner. Since it's totally random, you're eligible to win each week! 
  • To see more of Rafflecopter's privacy policy, click here. Your email is never shared, and is only used to contact you should you win.
  • *Due to recent changes with the Disqus platform, you must register for a Disqus account in order to post a photo entry in the blog comments.   
a Rafflecopter giveaway The contest is open Monday, February 27, 2017 at 12pm EST until Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 12pm EST. One winner will be randomly selected and announced tomorrow once the contest closes. The winner must live in a country that Goulet Pens currently ships to. Click here to see the Official Contest Rules.

Write on,
Whitney

Friday, February 24, 2017

Goulet Q&A Episode 157, 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.

In this episode, I talk about getting into nibmeistering, rules of pen etiquette, and the blackest of the black inks!

This week:
  • crazy warm weather here, lots of illness too

New/Upcoming Products: - (:53)


Pens/Writing - (1:41)

1) Karl K.- Facebook - (1:42)
Are there any hard and fast rules, i.e., do's and don'ts, regarding pen etiquette when someone asks to examine my fountain pen -- or my examining theirs? I am not sure I want someone "trying out" my pen. Would it endanger my nib?
  • there aren't really "hard and fast rules", it varies person-to-person
  • some people aren't comfortable lending their pens, ever
  • there's long-standing ideology that a nib is unique to your writing and anyone else writing with it could ruin it
  • I take a common-sense approach to it
  • if it's an inexpensive pen, give some basic instruction and give it to everyone!
  • if it's more expensive, only do it if you really trust the person, they'll understand
  • I instruct how to hold it, and don't write with a lot of pressure
  • It's the pressure thing that you most have to worry about
  • Usually if I can set it up right, I have people writing more cautiously than brazen
  • you have to determine what's comfortable for you and the individual you're sharing with

2) Melissa R.- Facebook - (5:39)
If you were to get a nib ground to something new that you've never tried before (I personally want to try an architect grind), what nib would you use? Something replaceable in case you didn't like the grind (like a Lamy nib or a Goulet nib) or something maybe less replaceable on a pen you love in hopes of ending up with a really awesome pen?
  • great question, there's definitely an element of risk involved here
  • this depends if you're risk-averse or reward-seeking
  • grind a cheaper nib if you suspect you may not like it, or have no idea, to limit your loss
  • go nuts on a more expensive pen if you expect to love it
  • a more known/expensive pen with a custom grind could have better resale value, too, if you really just don't like it
  • I'd strongly consider you get a pen that whatever nibmeister has worked on a lot or recommends for that grind
  • You can always reach out to whomever you'd like to do your grind and see what they recommend, because after all, it's very custom work

Ink - (9:20)

3) the_nice_devil- YouTube - (9:22)
Can you buy ink concentrate? is it possible to make ink powder and just put it in a bottle and just add water?
  • ink powder, not really- dye can be powder but is only one component of FP ink
  • other components used to make inks are liquid only, and couldn't easily be made into a powder
  • some fountain pen inks are more saturated than others, and can be diluted and still very usable as pen ink
  • Noodler's has very concentrated inks and often recommends diluting them to maximize their value

4) aga.wy- Instagram - (11:46)
Ink question: which is the darkest of them all? 

5) chinyan_pandya- Instagram- (13:53)
What are your thoughts on boiling the ink for a few seconds to evaporate some of the water and make it more saturated? Perhaps bring out a bit more of the sheen? Is it even possible? Waiting for your interesting insights! 
  • boiling? yikes, I don't think I'd want to do that, never tried though
  • technically, the water will evaporate just leaving the cap off for a while
  • will it bring out more sheen? That I don't really know, I don't think so
  • you can't squeeze blood out of a rock, if the ink doesn't sheen it won't sheen
  • putting down more ink will make it sheen more, and technically if you have less water that could get a similar effect...
  • I doubt ink that's evaporated enough to really make a difference in sheen would perform well in a pen, it'd probably write too dry and clog up
  • I've never tried it though, I'd be curious to test that out!

Business - (17:26)

6) Matthew M.- Facebook - (17:33)
Do ink manufacturers ever have a problem with you repackaging and selling the ink as samples?
  • nope! not at all, they think it's great! 
  • as an authorized retailer for all our brands, we are helping them out by getting their ink into as many people's pens as possible, and since the barrier to entry is lower with samples we can help with that
  • the samples combined with the Swab Shop is a big win for ink companies, and they are really appreciative of that exposure

7) Joshua W.- Email - (20:47)
I was wondering how it would be best to look into nibmeister work. I have done a little bit of antique watch repair at a friend's shop, nothing professional, but helped him out a bit, and working on fountain pens sounds like a similar vein of work. It doesn't seem like the kind of thing you could go take a course on, at least not here in the US. Any suggestions?
  • this is something I've been trying to figure out myself! 
  • there's definitely no school for it, and very limited information available in books, videos, or online
  • basically, there are a handful of people doing this work in the world, and they're all really really busy and not mentoring others a lot
  • it's really a trade/craft, and either needs to be passed down or learned through trail-and-error
  • pretty much, you can read some of the resources out there (Richard Binder is a good one) and get a bunch of cheap nibs and practice your little heart out
  • the only other alternative would be to link up with a pen company that does it in-house, and that's going to be VERY tough, especially as most of them are outside the US

QOTW: How do you feel about loaning your pen out to other people? What's your process? - (28:34)

Thanks so much for joining us this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday Things: Black and White and Red All Over

A polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

What's black and white and red all over? You may want to say a newspaper but we've got a much more exciting answer this week! Thursday Things: Black and White and Red All Over is a fun and exciting collection of eye catching red, black, and white products ready to make your writing pop! Prepare yourself for an adventurous assortment of the writing variety.

Featured products from left to right:
Check out the Thursday Things: Black and White and Red All Over shopping guide to see all these playful products.

A Kaweco Skyline Sport Black in a polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Kaweco Skyline Sport Fountain Pen - Black
A red Lamy Safari in a polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen - Red 
A Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop Red polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop Fountain Pen - Red
A Jinhao x750 Frosted Black in a polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Jinhao x750 Fountain Pen - Frosted Black
A White Lamy Safari in a polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen - White
Noodler's Neponsets in a polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Noodler’s Neponset Fountain Pen - Black Python in Pearls and Noodler’s Neponset Fountain Pen - John Mung
A polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

What is your favorite dad joke to tell?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

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