Monday, June 27, 2016

J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen with a Conklin Duragraph Cracked Ice: Monday Matchup #100

Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen.

Hello there, fountain pen lovers! Whitney here, bringing you my Monday Matchup of J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen and a Conklin Duragraph Cracked Ice. I've always wanted to try a Conklin pen and this matchup finally gave me the chance.

I like to find inspiration for my artwork in the names of the pen or ink. So since this ink carries a floral name, I knew I wanted to do a piece related to that theme. I am also fascinated by the old school botanical illustrations so I wanted to replicate that. I figured a Secret Garden quote would be a perfect compliment to that type of drawing.

To start out this project, I grabbed a pencil and lightly sketched marked out my space and planned my design and quote. I don't normally like to use pencil because I hate erasing and the mess it leaves behind. After I got the design just right, I went over it with the pen and ink. I also wrote in the quote. Once I had the design fully outlined, I went over it with a brush pen to fill it in and spread the ink. I let that dry fully and touched up the edges with the pen again to make sure the lines were all crisp.

I liked using this pen and ink, but they are not my personal favorites. I typically write with extra fine nibs because my handwriting is so small. The Fine nib on the Conklin was just not fine enough for me. For most people, however, I think, this nib would be fine. I wanted to branch out and try new things when doing these matchups so it was a fun experience to try out the Conklin. I am not a huge fan of fluorescent bright inks and the color I achieved when I used the brush pen on this ink was especially too bright for my taste. I did appreciate that the Rose Cyclamen did not lift as much as the Dark Lilac ink I used in my last matchup though. It was a little more color fast under water.

I think this pen and ink would be good for any type of writing task. You can't write extremely small with this pen so maybe not good for someone who takes small, detailed notes. But it would be great for journaling, letter writing, note taking in most cases, and any other writing or sketching you have. If I were to do this matchup again, I would try to find a tamer, more toned down ink to use, but it is still a pretty ink.

Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen.
Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen. Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen. Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen.
Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen.
Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen.

You can find the Conklin Duragraph Cracked Ice for $44 at GouletPens.com. J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen is available in a 30ml bottle for $11 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.40. 

Want to win this pen and ink? Enter our Monday Matchup giveaway on instagram! See our page for all the details!

Have you ever tried an ink that you ultimately found too bright for your taste?

Write on,

Friday, June 24, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 127, 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 dip testing vs. inking pens, good paper for beginners, and some pretty heavy personal stuff.

This week:
  • had physical inventory on Wed, always important for us here
  • missed Q&A last week
  • Personal stuff
New/Upcoming Products - (7:38)

Pens/Writing - (13:11)

1) Shawn H.- Facebook  - (13:13)
I'm wondering about extra ink around the collar and base of nib. This seems to be the case whether I use cartridges or fill with converter. I wipe and soak it up, and it doesn't seem to go away. Am I pulling ink away from my cartridge or the converter??
  • This isn't uncommon, especially when just filling a pen
  • you can take a paper towel to wick away after a fresh filling
  • it may come back, depending on the design of the pen, and if so, then you are just pulling ink from the cartridge/converter
  • if it's wicking for more than a few seconds, then it's soaking up the ink from the reservoir
  • inside the grip is a system of fins to regulate the ink flow
  • ink may come all the way to the nib, but shouldn't drip out
  • this is really only an issue when you have a tight grip towards the nib, and get ink on your fingers
  • some pens/ink combos will do this more than others

2) Kristian T.- Facebook - (17:12)
I sprang my Oma's Arte Italiana with an extra flessibile nib I adjusted it but inflow still sucks should I heat set the feed I don't know how to do that plus is there a difference in methodology for ebonite feeds vs plastic ones -mine has an ebonite feed Omas went out off business so I can't send it in for repairs what should I do is it possible to restore it to its out of this world out of the box performance or is it going to forever remain a FP cautionary tale?
  • this is really easy to do, as Omas had some of the softest flex nibs around
  • if you've sprung it, it can be fixed, but it's tough to do on your own especially if it's sprung badly
  • the softer the nib, the more challenging to work on it
  • while Omas isn't there to service it anymore, you can get it repaired by a nibmeister
  • John Mottishaw was Omas's repair point of contact in the US before they shut down, he's who I'd point you to
  • other nibmeisters could certainly repair this for you though
  • definitely go easy with this pen though!

3) thorn_upsb- Instagram - (21:01)
I recently visited a pen store near me to test some pens that I'm considering to buy: The Waterman Carène, Lamy 2K and Pilot VP. As the store can't sell a pen that's already been inked, they only dipped the nibs into the ink. My question is: Is the performance of a dipped nib representative of it's performance when inked up normally? I had some major skipping issues with the Carène, which didn't happen with the 2K and the VP. 
  • In general, it's not the truest representation of how the pen will flow, it really shows best how the nib feels
  • it's better with nibs that have larger and more exposed feeds, which really none of these 3 have
  • the Carène especially I could see not working ideally, because there really isn't much there to soak up the ink on a dip test, I think it'd do better when actually inked
  • I have a Carene and it writes wonderfully, but of course that's just one pen
  • the L2k and VP are pretty darn popular writers, for good reason

4) thequotemaster23- Instagram - (24:53)
What is the benefit of using an oblique nib holder vs. a normal italic nib when doing calligraphy? 
  • it's all about helping with hand fatigue
  • calligraphy is traditionally slanted, and the more elaborate it is, the more time consuming 
  • the oblique angle helps to write in a more natural position while still getting that slant

Paper - (28:56)

5) brentperusual- Instagram - (29:02) 
As a big fan of Field Notes I've accepted that only certain editions of theirs are truly fountain pen friendly. Are there any notebooks of similar size that have fountain pen friendly paper, as a Field Notes alternative? (Doesn't have to be exact same design)

6) boo_boo26- Instagram - (33:22)
What paper do you think is best for beginners?
  • there is a lot to consider with paper, and most of it is completely foreign with new fountain pen users
  • I personally think Rhodia is the best introduction, because it's amazingly consistent, performs well, and is all around a fantastic feel
  • No. 16 Rhodia pad is great, pretty affordable, and versatile
  • I'm a huge fan of the dot, but lined is really good too for an introduction
  • Leuchtturm A5 is perfect for anyone coming over from Moleskines or other journal formats
  • I love Clairefontaine Triomphe for stationery, it's plain but writes like a dream

Personal - (38:21)

7) xsmatchet- Instagram - (38:22)
Every day at work I write a quote/thought of the day and share it with my coworkers. My favourite quote is a song lyric: "it's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice". What are some of your and your team's favourite quotes?
  • I love quotes personally, and find them inspiring
  • I do a "morning motivation" on most days on Snapchat
  • I keep a running list of my favorite quotes in a spreadsheet and rotate a different one each day for my leadership team with 226 on there now
  • "You can do anything, but you can't do everything." David Allen (Author of Getting Things Done)
  • "Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." Theodore Roosevelt (Former US President)
  • "If it isn't a clear yes, it's a clear no." Greg McKeown (Author of Essentialism)
  • "If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough." Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President of Liberia, first elected female head of state in Africa and Nobel Prize winner)
  • "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas Edison (inventor)
  • “Experience gives the test first and the lesson later. ” Unknown
  • "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want." Zig Ziglar (motivational speaker)

QOTW: What's a major setback you've had to overcome in your life? - (45:07)

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

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Diamine Oxford Blue: Ink Review

Diamine Oxford Blue ink splatter with a Lamy fountain pen.

Hey there, ink lovers! Madigan here, reviewing a brand new addition to the Diamine line, Diamine Oxford Blue. As an ink addict, I'm always intrigued when companies come out with new inks. Diamine has been especially innovative in the past couple of years with their line of Anniversary inks, followed up by the Shimmertastic collection. So when Diamine Oxford Blue was announced, I couldn't wait to get my pen inked up. I instantly fell in inky love. Diamine Oxford Blue is a classy, dark, and sophisticated blue with enough saturation to make it incredibly beautiful. On top of all that goodness, it has some red sheen! Read on to discover all the ins and outs of my new favorite blue ink.

Diamine Oxford Blue ink review, detailing smear time, water proof test, and saturation.
Diamine Oxford Blue writing test on Moleskine Notebook paper and Tomoé River Paper.
Close up of Diamine Oxford Blue writing on Tomoé River Paper.

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):
  • Medium- This ink was dry in 20+ seconds, making it an average ink. It would be good for every day writing, but will not be ideal for lefties or for lighting fast page turning.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):
  • Low-This ink blurs quickly when water hits it. I can see it being gorgeous in ink washes, but if you are looking for your writing to stick around for awhile, look elsewhere.

  • Medium-While this is a dark hued ink, you can certainly see a difference between the first and second swabs. The second and third look the same, however.

Ease of Cleaning:
  • Easy-Since this ink has no water proof qualities and has low water resistance, it is easy to clean out of your pen!

  • Medium-While I'm generally a sucker for shading, I liked that this ink had a bit of shading, but not so much as to be distracting.

  • Medium- Fantastic flow! It flowed smoothly from the pen with no hard starts or gushes. In terms of flow, this would be a great every day writer. 

Packaging and Aesthetics:

This is truly a singular ink, and is my new favorite blue! It's somewhere in between royal blue and navy, making it a beautiful and classic hue that will go with just about anything. The saturation coupled with the slight amount of shading make it incredibly pleasing to look at. It looks fantastic on both white and cream paper. It's work appropriate while being pretty enough to make you look forward to filling your fountain pen. It's well behaved with great flow- perfect for long writing sessions.

You can find Diamine Oxford Blue at GouletPens.com in an 80ml bottle for $14.95 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.

Do you like your blue ink deep and dark or light and bright?

Write on,

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