Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weekend Reads 7/31/10

This is a pretty ink-heavy WR. Be sure to check out the paper link though, I've never seen so many filled journals! ~ Brian 


J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage- Rants of the Archer

Rohrer and Klingner Salix Iron Gall Ink- Lady Dandelion

Private Reserve Naples Blue- Pocket Blonde

Spin the Bottle Meets Ink and Pen- Inkophile

August Giveaway: Which Herbin Inks Would You Like To Win?- Rhodia Drive

Guilty? (Noodler's Firefly)- Brassing Adds Character


Notebook Addict of the Week: Waterfall- Notebook Stories


Miami Pen Show 2010- Okami Whatever

Friday, July 30, 2010

1670 ink...I TOLD YOU it would go fast!

It's no secret if you've been reading Ink Nouveau that I got in my allotment of 1670 ink this past Monday. Since there were more people that wanted it than I had inks on hand, I decided what would be the fairest (and most fun!) was to have an 'Apple-esque' type of release date, which was yesterday at 12pm EST.

Well, if you go over to the page where I have the 1670 ink listed for sale, you'll notice it says 'backordered'. That's no mistake, the ink is gone! You're probably curious, how fast did it go? How many bottles did I have?

I had 46 bottles for sale, and they sold in just over 2 hours. 

I really wasn't joking when I said they would go fast! The bad news is that they're really gone. They're all spoken for. The good news is that I did hold on to a couple of bottles to use for ink samples. So even if you missed out on the chance to get it this shipment, you can get a sample of it to see what the hype is all about. More good news, Exaclair is expecting another shipment of it next month, so around this time in August, I'll be expecting more to come in. I plan to do the same type of offering like I did this go-around, except it won't be a 2+ month wait this time!

So obviously, having sold so many inks (as well as other things) in such a short time, I'm a little busy! I will be working as fast as possible, but it's going to take me through the weekend to get everything out. Thanks to everyone for your patience, it will be worth it to get this great ink!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Today is 1670 D-day!

If you've been waiting for a chance to get the new improved wax capped J. Herbin 1670 ink, J. Herbin 100ml bottles, large black lined Habanas, or large black lined Webbies v3.0, then set aside some time today (7/29/10) to visit GouletPens.com!

At 12pm EST on 7/29/10 we're going to make these products live and available for purchase. The 1670 inks are expected to disappear fast as we have once again been limited in our stock (as I'm sure all US retailers will be). Because of such limited quantities, there will only be one bottle allowed per person. Here are some tips if you want to have the best chance of getting it:

  • Save regular products in your shopping cart ahead of time. Whatever regularly offered items you'd like to also purchase in conjunction with your special items you should save in your shopping cart ahead of time. This way, as soon as the special items are listed you can add them to your cart and check out as quickly as possible. If you add a 1670 ink first, then dilly-dally around the site for a while before checking out, someone else could check out before you and snatch up the last bottle and you'll be out of luck. Items in your shopping cart are not reserved for you, it's all about when you check out. Only a completed order will guarantee your purchase!
  • Make sure you or someone can be ready at 12pm EST. Set aside time a little before 12pm EST to load your items into your cart and check out. You want to make sure you're ready so your laptop battery isn't dead, or your power is out, or whatever. If you are somehow unavailable to purchase your order at that time, you may want to consider arranging with someone else to complete your purchase during that time. I expect some things, especially the 1670 ink, to go very fast, and waiting an hour might make you miss out!
  • Be patient with me! I'm a one man show....my wife is wonderful and is able to help when she isn't working her full-time job and watching our 6-month old son. Most often though, I'm on my own for all of the email correspondence, my handwritten notes, blog, videos, and packing and shipping orders. I pride myself on almost always getting out orders placed within 24 hours, but I'm being realistic about this weekend. I'm fully expecting an influx of orders on Thursday, and I can only ship out so many orders a day. It may take me a few days to get to everyone, but I'm making it my goal to have everything out by Monday.
It's going to be a very busy time for Rachel and I, but we'll do our best to keep up! On top of it all, my normal help (my mother!) is unavailable to help this weekend, so it'll be me, Rachel, and Joseph fending for ourselves!

Best of luck to everyone today, and I'm sorry in advance if you aren't able to get what you wanted. With such limited stock there are bound to be disappointments, so we're trying to offer the ink in the fairest way possible for everyone. This is all a bit of an experiment, so we'll see how it goes!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Write Time at 9: July 27, 2010

Join us live every Tuesday night at 9pm EST for Write Time at 9! We talk pens, paper, ink, and random other things (writing related usually).

Link to Ustream to view the video.

This week was all about J. Herbin 1670, 100ml bottles, and Webnotebooks v3.0. I got a big shipment in for the DC pen show happening in a few weeks, read that post here. Long story short, if you want a shot at getting a bottle of 1670 ink from me, go to GouletPens.com at 12pm EST this Thursday July 29, 2010 when we'll be listing it for sale.

The giveaway was an A5 Clairefontaine Staplebound with French-rule paper (C381) to the first person that emailed me with the color of ink I used for my new bookmarks and business cards. The answer? Diamine Presidential Blue.

The video is just over an hour long.

Ink Blot #17: New J. Herbin 1670 Wax Caps!

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary ink Rouge Hematite has been wildly popular as an ink....not so much for the crumbling brittle wax used to decorate the cap.

But that was then and this is now! J. Herbin has fixed the wax problem with this latest shipment that just arrived. Perhaps that's why it took more than 2 months to come in. Here's the old and the new:

It's pretty evident that the wax on the new bottle (front) is supple, versus the brittle wax on the old bottle (back). It feels softer, and it only goes down to the end of the cap, unlike the old bottle where the wax covered the entire cap and the neck of the bottle. It was pretty that way until you opened it and the brittle wax crumbled all over the place, risking dropping into the bottle, even! This new cap is much, much better!

The cap can be removed and replaced without affecting the wax at all. It looks new every time you open it. Well done.

J. Herbin 1670 Rouge Hematite will be for sale at the Goulet Pen Company for $20 starting 12pm EST on Thursday July 29, and it's expected to go very, very fast. Limit 1 bottle.

Link to YouTube for iPhones and full-screen viewing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

JH 1670, 100ml bottles, black Habanas, and new Webbies!

Last Friday I received a call from UPS Freight saying that they had 17 boxes to deliver on Monday, July 26. The total weight, 724 pounds. You've probably never had a UPS freight truck come to your house before, I know I hadn't. If you're wondering, UPS freight packages come delivered by a tractor trailer. Yes, a 53' tractor trailer.

There's only one problem, my driveway's a little short and we are off a main road, so I moved all of my vehicles to the side to clear room for the truck. An hour before delivery the driver called me and asked to meet me in a gas station parking lot so he could unload since there was really no place to park. I agreed, and I went to hook up my trailer on my sweet Pontiac Aztek (go ahead, laugh, I love my Aztek). Well, the car was near the trailer (which it normally isn't) and in my haste, I made a quick, tight turn to hook my Aztek up to the trailer and CRUNCH! Wouldn't you know it, I hit my own car with my other car.

I didn't have time to cry over spilled milk, I had goods to pick up and I was on a mission. I hooked up the trailer and drove down to meet the driver. It's a bit of a milestone for me, as this is the first time my business has had anything delivered on a tractor trailer! I took a picture (the boxes look small on that truck!):

Here are the boxes on my cute little trailer (thank goodness there was no rain!):

Why did I have 1/3 ton of packages being delivered by a mac truck? Two words.....DC Show. I bought just a crap ton of Clairefontaine, Rhodia, Quo Vadis, and J. Herbin for the DC Fountain Pen Supershow. But that's not all.....oh no, that's not all! The much anticipated, long awaited 100ml J. Herbin bottles, the next shipment of 1670 ink, a replenishment of large black ruled Quo Vadis Habanas (which have been backordered for months), and the new version 3.0 large black Rhodia Webnotebooks came too!

This is an epic amount of stuff that came in, and with a lot of newly introduced products and limited edition items. I've been struggling to think of a fair and equitable way to offer these products, especially the 1670 ink, since the demand is exceeding the supply. I think I've figured out the best way to handle it. Here's what I'm going to do:

Thursday 7/29 at 12pm (noon) EST I'm going to list everything available for sale, first-come-first-serve, at GouletPens.com.

I'm going to blog, tweet, email, post on FPN, make a YouTube vid, Ustream vid, and anything else I can do to reach as many of you as possible to give you a fair shake at getting access to these items on Thursday. This also will give me a couple of days to get myself prepared for the influx of orders to fulfill. My wife and I will be working triple overtime this weekend to get everything mailed out.

I have a couple strategies for you that I will recommend if you want to get your hands on any of this stuff before anyone else:
  • Email me if you're interested in any of these new items. I'll put you on an email notification list so you'll be notified as soon as the products are listed live on GouletPens.com. This isn't a waitlist or anything that gives you special priority, it simply means you will be notified when your product of interest is available for purchase.
  • Save regular products in your shopping cart ahead of time. Whatever regularly offered items you'd like to also purchase in conjunction with your special items you should save in your shopping cart ahead of time. This way, as soon as the special items are listed you can add them to your cart and check out as quickly as possible. If you add a 1670 ink first, then dilly-dally around the site for a while before checking out, someone else could check out before you and snatch up the last bottle and you'll be out of luck. Items in your shopping cart are not reserved for you, it's all about when you check out. Only a completed order will guarantee your purchase!

  • Make sure you or someone can be ready at 12pm EST. Set aside time a little before 12pm EST to load your items into your cart and check out. You want to make sure you're ready so your laptop battery isn't dead, or your power is out, or whatever. If you are somehow unavailable to purchase your order at that time, you may want to consider arranging with someone else to complete your purchase during that time. I expect some things, especially the 1670 ink, to go very fast, and waiting an hour might make you miss out!
  • Be patient with me! I'm a one man show....my wife is wonderful and is able to help when she isn't working her full-time job and watching our 6-month old son. Most often though, I'm on my own for all of the email correspondence, my handwritten notes, blog, videos, and packing and shipping orders. I pride myself on almost always getting out orders placed within 24 hours, but I'm being realistic about this weekend. I'm fully expecting an influx of orders on Thursday, and I can only ship out so many orders a day. It may take me a few days to get to everyone, but I'm making it my goal to have everything out by Monday.
    J. Herbin 1670 ink:

    This may seem a little extreme or ridiculous to arrange your whole life around a bottle of ink but I kid you not, it will go fast! The first two shipments of J. Herbin 1670 ink that I received sold before I ever even listed them online. I had taken a waitlist ahead of time and the bottles were all claimed before they ever came in. I didn't want to do that this go around, I wanted to give everyone a fair chance to claim their bottle. It just so happened to have the 1670 delivery coincide with everything I got for the DC show, including the 100ml J. Herbin bottles and the new Webbies. If I had done a waitlist ahead of time with this batch, I would have 'presold' my entire allotment of 1670 ink nearly 2 weeks ago.

    Just to give you an idea, I currently have more than 20 people signed up on the email notification list for the 1670 ink than I will have bottles available. I know that many of you would love to stock up and get multiple bottles, but each customer will be limited to 1 bottle of J. Herbin 1670 ink due to such limited quantities. I hate to do this, but I have no choice as I and all of the other retailers are being limited in the quantities we receive. I can't emphasize this enough, these bottles are limited in quantity and will go FAST! I can't actually set an item maximum purchase quantity through my website, so yes, technically, you could 'check out' with more than 1 bottle. However, I will not ship you more than one bottle, your money will be refunded, and the 'extra' bottles will be relisted for sale for other customers. Please just save us both the trouble and only purchase one bottle. Each 50ml bottle will be sold for $20.

    J. Herbin 100ml Bottles:

    There are 6 colors of the J. Herbin 100ml bottles: Perle Noir, Éclat de Saphir, Poussière de Lune, Bleu Nuit, Lie de Thé, and Violette Penssée. These are not limited edition, but are newly regularly offered items. The bottles are utilitarian, nothing wildly fantastic, but it makes a wonderful ink a little more economical. Check out my post on the 100ml bottles.List price is $19, but I will be selling them for $18 each, no limit on quantities.

    Quo Vadis Habanas- Black Lined:

    These are extremely popular, wonderful journals. I use 3 of them myself. Though they are not limited in quantity, they have been backordered from my supplier for nearly 3 months. I STOCKED UP so I don't expect to run out of these. However, since a great number of you wanted both Habanas and either 100ml bottles or 1670 ink, I thought it would be better to list these at once with the other limited items so you could check out at once. Every time I purchase a large stock of these I think I'm set for a while, they get snatched up, and I end up getting backordered again....so though my stock is high now, I can't always guarantee it will be. Keep in mind France (where these are now made) basically shuts down for 6 weeks during late summer, too!

    Rhodia Webnotebook v3.0- Large Black Lined (look ma, no logo!):

    These were kind of a surprise, I really wasn't expecting them. The Rhodia Webnotebooks have been popular journals that have undergone 2 major changes since their introduction. The first ones were 80g paper, kind of so-so for fountain pens. After much requesting, the paper was changed to awesome 90g Clairefontaine paper in the US versions only, the rest of the world still had the 80g versions. These 90g versions became affectionately and unofficially known as version 2.0. Requests were made that the v2.0 Webbies drop the Rhodia logo on the pages and have a binding that made it lay flatter. The requests were taken, and thus v3.0 was born. There are small differences between the 2.0 and 3.0, but it will make a difference for many. Black Webbies already have these v3.0 changes. The Orange lined Webbies I have are still v2.0, only the Large Black Lined Webbies are updated so far. The couple of remaining v2.0 black Webbies have been discounted on GouletPens.com, and the new Webbies will take their place at the price of $18.75 (list price $20).

     Lots of Buzz!

    There has been a great deal of anticipation about these products coming in, so be sure to talk with your writing friends about jumping on these new products. You can always email me with questions as I know this post is very content-heavy! You can also join me Tuesday at 9pm EST for Write Time at 9, my weekly live broadcasting on Ustream, which this week will entirely focus on these new products. Good luck!

    Link to YouTube for iPhones and full-screen viewing.

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    What influences the way you write?

    We all have our motivations for writing, especially if you are a fountain pen user. The #1 reason I love fountain pens and the people who use them is because they are a non-essential item...I don't mean that in a bad way, just realistically speaking it's not very practical to use fountain pens in daily life! That's a good thing though, believe it or not.

    How many people do you know who are passionate about filing their taxes? Not many (dare I say any?)....because we all have to do it. But see, when something becomes 'unnecessary' or 'obsolete' in the viewpoint of the people that do things because they have to, what you end up with is a select group of individuals who do it because they want to! Fountain pen users make a choice to use fountain pens because for one reason or another they want to.

    As you may or may not know, I am actually *relatively* new to the fountain pen scene. In fact, I know little about fountain pens at all! I use them, I love them, but ink, paper, and sealing wax is really more of my passion. Pens allow me to do what I love....playing with pretty inks on wonderful paper! That's a facet of my personal motivation to write. I love to write in color, play with different nib styles to get certain characteristics out of each ink, and write on smoooooth paper which just feels wonderful to me. That's a very selfish and vain reason why I love to write. On a deeper level I love to write because I know the feeling I get when I open a letter handwritten by someone....it's like nothing else, certainly more exciting than an email (though I like those too). I know that when I am writing to someone, that they are going to feel the emotion I put into my letter.

    For me, it's all about the experimentation. I have certain ink colors I love, but I'm very much of an ink 'nomad'. I find a color, make a mental note how I like it, and move on. Half the time I don't even finish one C/C fill before I flush and move on to a new color (with some exceptions). I have at least a dozen pens inked up at any time, and all with different colors.

    In terms of what and how I write, it all depends on the purpose. Sometimes I like to do stream of consciousness and just let it flow, writing as fast as I think, which is great because writing with the pen slows me down just enough to have my thoughts be coherent, unlike SoC writing on the computer, which often ends up being a bunch of jibberish! I enjoy writing letters of correspondence to each of my customers, not only because I enjoy the writing but because I know my customers will enjoy and really appreciate the effort, ink, and paper I'm using while writing. Plus that's a chance for me to do wax seals, which I do any chance I get!

    I also have a blue Habana that I started writing in the day my son was born. It's going to be his 'life journal', where I write my thoughts at key events during his life so he has documentation of my thinking and personality throughout my raising him.

    I use Clairefontaine séyès paper (French-rule) to practice my handwriting, especially with my recent acquisition of some flex nibs. I like to practice writing daily scriptures in them as a method of prayer and reflection, as well as practicing handwriting. It's a win-win for me ;)

    I also use a Rhodia No. 8 pad (the long skinny one!) for to-do lists, grocery lists, and any other kind of list you can think of around the house.

    Part of the reason I love writing so much is that it's different for everyone, and each writer finds their own motivation and enjoyment. What influences the way you write?

    Sunday, July 25, 2010

    New Pelikan Pens and ink!

    This info was passed down to me from my Pelikan rep, it's official Pelikan promo stuff. All of the normal font is from Pelikan, my comments are in this blue italic font. I know I'm a paper and ink guy and don't deal a lot with pens, but just know I likely can get my hands on some of these if you are interested in the limited edition stuff. Email me if you're interested. ~Brian Goulet

    · Classic 205 DUO - A perfectly coordinated unit
    Pelikan stands for innovative technology and has a sense for modern design. The unique thing about the new Classic 205 DUO piston fountain-pen is the idea of equipping a fountain-pen with the additional function of a text marker. The fountain-pen in the Classic 205 series serves as inspiration, with its timeless, classic design. This writing instrument features a transparent housing in neon-yellow, which lets you see its inner workings. The silver clips and ornamental rings give the pen a special elegance and a high perceived value. The piston fountain-pen has a polished stainless steel nib in thickness BB and is filled with a neon ink.

    The concept of neon ink originated at the end of the 1960s, deriving from the fluorescent tubes appearing at that time, mistakenly also called neon tubes in colloquial language. In the main, these inks are used as signal colors, and are characterized by an exceptionally high color saturation.

    Thanks to this neon effect, the Classic 205 DUO writing instrument can be used to make precise notes in a document as with a conventional fountain-pen, without the notes smudging or having to be overwritten. The result is that the handwritten word – in contrast to conventional text markers – appears clear, comprehensible and, above all, luminescent. With its new text marker Pelikan provides a product which, thanks to its precision, ensures that personal comments appear clearly in the foreground and are not forgotten.

    The Classic 205 text marker in fountain-pen form comes together with a bottle of neon yellow ink in a simple design box. List Price is currently set for $145 for the set, $15 for just the ink. I plan to carry the ink regularly.

    · Souveran fountain pen M 800 Italic - Calligraphy for a Classic
    With its new special series Souveran M800 Italic, the Pelikan company will delight not only collectors, but anyone who attaches great importance to beautiful writing. The ground nib point produces vertical strokes up to 1.5 mm wide and narrow horizontal strokes. This enhances writing and gives every sweep more expression. Writing pleasure is perceptibly increased as the 18-carat gold nib with rhodanized decoration glides across the paper in the famous, smooth Pelikan quality.

    The proven Souveran 800 classic fountain-pen is available in three colors – black, green-striped and blue-striped. The black elements are made from high-grade resin; the striped casing comprises exquisitely crafted cellulose acetate. The piston fountain-pens are adorned with the typical beak-clip and double ring, both gold-plated with 24 carats.

    This classic writing implement with its special nib comes in a decorative blue gift box including a brochure, which explains how to write with a calligraphy nib.

    Combined with a bottle of colored ink, this is the ideal implement for reintroducing the art of writing a long letter that will delight both author and recipient alike . . .

    The calligraphy piston fountain-pen is available as a Special Edition, July 2010 with a list price of $500. Man, I would love to have one of these, but with a baby to think about I'd have one heck of a time justifying this one to my wife! Nice looking pen though.

    · Souveran fountain pen M 800 blue o' blue
    The traditional Pelikan brand is expanding its popular Souveran M800 product line with the premium series Souveran M800 blue o’ blue, paying tribute to one of the most soothing and enduring colors of nature. Constancy and harmony are found in the infinity of the blue sky and in the mighty expanse of the blue ocean. This harmony influences the calmness and concentration of the observer, and can order his or her thoughts – and transfer them to paper.

    The ‘o’ in the product name stands for the word ‘over’ and refers to the lightly transparent material of barrel and cap of this fine writing instrument, which is reminiscent of broad pinstripes layered on top of each other in several shades of blue. In the intricate production process, the acrylic material is cast into the correct shape, trimmed and turned in several steps, and finally fitted with its elegant interior. In the final step, the individual parts are brought together to form the finished product, and polished to a high gloss. The clip and rings of this exclusive product series are made of 24-carat gold. The soft nib of the fine fountain-pen is made of 18-carat gold with rhodium decoration and iridium tip. List price currently set for $595.

    · Limited Edition "Fire"
    Perfectly timed for the hot season, the long-established Pelikan company is bringing some fire of its own to the desk: the “Fire” Limited Edition writing instrument, the third fountain-pen in the “Achievements of civilization” series, will make the hearts of collectors and devotees of elegant penmanship beat faster.

    People have always burned wood and used the glowing embers of around 500 degrees Celsius and more to provide warmth and cook food. Pelikan celebrates the art of taming fire, and has produced just 500 pens in the “Fire” Limited Edition. The edition number engraved on the end of the handle proves that every fountain-pen is unique.

    This fine writing instrument features elaborate details. An ornate bowl of fire is engraved on the nib, clip and cap of the fountain-pen. The barrel is made of brass and lacquered several times. Flames ascend the red shaft of the fountain-pen. Each individual flame is first lasered onto the fountain-pen, polished and then plated with 24-carat gold. Five real topaz gemstones, inserted by hand, make the flames come alive, and transport devotees of the fine art of writing to a time when our ancestors had to wait for lightening to strike before they could capture the flame. The soft nib of this fine writing instrument is made of 18-carat/750 gold, and has a fine iridium tip.

    The “Fire” piston fountain-pen is available in nib sizes F, M and B, and is presented in an elegant gift box together with a brochure, which provides an account of the theme of the “Achievements of civilization” series and the intricate details of the fountain-pen. No idea what the list price is. But if you care at all about price, you likely won't be able to afford this pen!

    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    10 New Diamine Colors!

    Yes, that's right...as if there weren't too many temptations already! Diamine just released 10 new colors, 2 of which have been on their website for a couple of months (Amazing Amethyst and Sherwood Forest), the other 8 are brand spanking new. Here they are! (These swabs are taken from Diamine's website, I do not have the inks on hand yet)

    Amazing Amethyst:

    Asa Blue:





    Red Dragon:

    Sherwood Forest:

    Syrah (aka Binder Burgundy). Apparently Richard Binder developed his own color which became commonly known as Binder Burgundy by mixing Sheaffer Red with Waterman Violette. Word is he worked with Diamine to make Syrah to match his mixture:


    My Diamine importer in the US (not sure if there are others or not) is taking a 'staggered' approach to bringing in the new colors. They're planning to bring in these 5 colors within the next month:


    Next month they'll place in another order for the rest of the colors, which should arrive in October sometime:

    Asa Blue
    Red Dragon
    Amazing Amethyst
    Sherwood Forest

    HOWEVER, they gave me the chance to get all of the new colors in this next shipment (to arrive mid-late August), which I quickly jumped all over! I'll be getting in 10 bottles (80ml) of all 10 of these new colors (to start). I have NO idea how fast they'll go once I get them in, and I will be adding them to my Swab Shop as well once I have them in hand. I will only have 10 each of the latter 5 inks for the month or so period in between when I get them and when the US distributor starts to carry them regularly. Email me if you want me to let you know when I have a given color in stock (of course, I'll be blogging about it too!).

    Ink Nouveau Weekend Reads, 7/24/10


    I'm #1! Woohoo!- Notebooker, Esq.

    Beware Online Ink Swatches- Inkophile

    Diamine Imperial Purple- Okami Whatever

    J. Herbin inks- WithoutInk


    Paul Smith Notepads- Rhodia Drive


    2010 Miami Pen Show- WithoutInk

    Urushi Pen Update- Edison Pen Co.

    Why Fountain Pens- Pocket Blonde

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Highlighter fountain pen ink?

    I have had a few people mention to me about using fountain pens as highlighters. Really? Yup. Take a wide-nib pen like a Pelikan Script 2.0 and use a light yellow ink like J. Herbin Bouton d'Or or Noodler's Firefly, and there you go. A highlighter fountain pen.

    What do I think of this? I've heard of stranger things, sure. I really don't see a 'necessity' to use fountain pens as highlighters, but I can see if you're a fountain pen 'purist' and want to use nothing else, sure! Why not?

    I won't disclose who, but I've actually been told in confidence that a couple of ink companies that are considering coming out with 'highlighter' inks. I want to know, what do you think? Hot or not?

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    DizzyPen Guest Blog: Reds!

    A special thanks to DizzyPen for this review. Although I don't currently offer samplers of the 1670 ink, I made an exception for Dizzy for the purpose of this review. When I get more bottles in, I hope to be able to offer samples. Ink samples of the rest of the inks are currently available at GouletPens.com. ~Brian Goulet 

    (Click on any photo to view a larger size)

    When Brian put out a request for guest reviewer I immediately volunteered. Since the J. Herbin 1670 ink had just launched I thought it would be worthwhile to do a comparison of red inks from a few of the manufacturers he carries. Brian sent me a sample of every ink reviewed here except the Diamine Monaco Red. I already owned that one. Apart from being a customer of his I am not otherwise affiliated with Brian. I am also not affiliated with any of the manufacturers reviewed herein.

    Diamine Classic Red:

    Dia Classic Red Card

    I must admit that this was by far my least favorite of the bunch. It is the only one that misbehaved on my everyday paper: HP LaserJet 24lbs. However, it does perform well on Rhodia, Clairefontaine, etc. If you plan to use this ink plan to use it with premium papers. The shading is quite good and the flow is excellent. I'm not much on the color, but the name is fitting. It is a dullish medium red.

    Caran d' Ache Sunset:


    This is an attractive pinkish red. It is the outlier in this group. None of the others exhibit this pink quality. This ink is the driest feeling of the bunch. But, has some of the best shading, and it is one of the fastest drying.

    Private Reserve Dakota Red:

    PR Dakota Card

    This is a brightish medium red. When I researched this ink I found some complaints of the ink clogging pens and/or throwing precipitants. When I informed Brian of this he told me the ink has been reformulated, so I decided to test it out for a while. I put it in a Platinum Preppy and left it to sit for one and a half weeks. I am happy to report that there was NO CLOGGING and NO PRECIPITANTS.

    Believe it or not, this ink is actually the best behaved out of the bunch. There is some shading, and it is fast drying. It flows well, and it is pretty good so far as lubrication is concerned. In addition, it is one of the least saturated, but also the most water-resistant. All in all not a bad ink.

    Diamine Monaco Red:


    This ink is from my own personal stash. I tend to use it for grading because its brick red blood color is dark enough to be easy on the eyes, but still red enough to catch the students' attention. It is very well-behaved even on cheap student paper. I prefer it in an extra-fine or fine nib, but in a wider nib you get lots more shading.

    J. Herbin 1670 Rouge Hematite:

    JH 1670 Card

    Now for the ink of the moment! This ink is FANTASTIC! I have to say that I'm not the biggest red ink fan in the world, but as soon as I got this ink down on paper I was enamored. Furthermore, of the inks Brian sent to me this is the only one I went out and purchased elsewhere (Brian did not have any in stock, but is expecting a shipment soon). The color is similar to that of fresh blood. I'd describe it as a red-orange mixed with maroon. It's very appealing. It's also quite vibrant, but not unpleasantly so. It has the best flow and lubrication of the inks compared here. It is also the most saturated, which is surprising for J. Herbin. Unfortunately, because of that saturation this ink is slow drying and it remains smudge-able long after it is dry. Do note that this is a limited edition ink, so if you want some you may want to act fast!


    Below are a couple comparison shots and a picture of the water test. I apologize in advance for the colors. I simply could not get these comparisons to display all the reds accurately. Please refer to the card shots above for more accurate representations of these inks.

    Red Rhodia Comp

    Red Pupitre Comp

    Red water test


    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Write Time at 9: July 20, 2010

    Join us live every Tuesday night at 9pm EST for Write Time at 9! We talk pens, paper, ink, and random other things (writing related usually).

    Link to Ustream for the video.

    I intended to cut this broadcast short, about 30 minutes, but it didn't happen! I ended up going the full hour anyway! Everyone was active in the chat and we were having a blast. We ended up having a good turnout....43 people shuffling in and out at some point during the broadcast! I'm just amazed that anyon shows up at all to listen to my rambling.

    Topics covered this week: new Diamine colors, DC pen show, Pelikan 62.5ml bottles, cheap pens, ink swabs, and more. I spontaneously decided to do TWO giveaways tonight! I had two good trivia questions so I decided to use both for giveaways. The first was a 30ml bottle of Pelikan Turquoise to whomever emailed me first with the correct answer for the 'official' start date of the Pelikan company (April 28, 1838). The second was a pack of carts to the first who emailed me with which Pelikan ink color is offered in cartridge form, but not bottle form! The answer? Pink! I don't even know what the pink looks like to be honest with you....there are no swabs of it, I've never seen it reviewed, I've never tried it myself, and I've never sold one! I'm curious now to see what it's like, so I will grab one and give it a try. Sounds like a blog post to me!

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    Update on J. Herbin 1670 ink as of 7/19/2010

    The 1670 ink is not in yet, but it's expected to arrive soon. This 50ml bottle of ink is expected to sell quickly, since it's in such limited supply. I would expect about 24-36 hours my entire stock will be gone! To make sure you have a fair shot, go to the 1670 ink product page to sign up for an email notification that will go out to the entire waiting list when I get the ink in stock. I currently have more people on the wait list than I will get ink in stock, so there will be some disappointed individuals! Make sure you're not one of them!

    Because of the limited quantities, I am going to be limiting purchases of this ink to one bottle per person. I hate to have to do that, but I have no choice since I'm limited in my stock. The 50ml bottle will sell for $20.

    I made a quick video that I posted right to YouTube. It's grainy and the audio is off, so be aware of that! I also have some mad bed head going on, it's pretty funny!

    Link to YouTube for iphones and full-scren viewing.

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    Ink Party!

    See, this is why I love the fountain pen community! I had a customer email me last night telling me how a friend of hers had ordered 20 ink samples from me and threw an 'ink party'. A group of her fountain pen lovers got together and tested out a bunch of ink samples for an evening of fellowship among writing enthusiasts!!

    I live in a pretty rural area and spend a lot of time online and it's not often I get to interact with other pen lovers face-to-face. An idea like an ink party had just flat-out never occurred to me! I think it's a fantastic idea and it absolutely sounds like a blast. In fact, I'm racking my brain now trying to think of how I can put together some sort of package on GouletPens.com to help facilitate ink parties. Maybe a 10 or 20-ink sampler pack with a PR Cartridge Filling Unit or a No. 16 Rhodia pad added? What about having wax seal samples at the party too? I'm thinking out loud here, and I'm also completely open to ideas. What would you need to facilitate your own ink party? How could I help you enjoy picking out inks, paper, or other accessories for your party?

    What's great about fountain pen enthusiasts is our passion, creativity, and appreciation for the human connection that lies with personal correspondence. I think ink parties are a great way to bring writers closer together, and I want to support them in any way I can. What are your ideas? I'm all ears!

    Sunday, July 18, 2010

    Swab Shop: Lovers and Haters

    My Swab Shop on GouletPens.com has been getting attention lately. Mostly good, some bad. I think most of the 'bad' comes from a misunderstanding about the Swab Shop's use. Here's the original post I did on my swabs, but let me clarify.

    I discovered the need for the swabs because there were several inks I came across whose names were poor guidance for the actual color. Examples of some confusing names:

    Steel Blue: I thought it would have been a dark blue-grey, it's not. It's really more of a turquoise.

    Diabolo Menthe: What? It's a French cocktail drink that looks like Windex, but how would you know that?

    Larmes de Cassis: 'Tears of Cassis', a flower. Great color, but who would know by the name?

    I'm certainly not trying to bust on these inks at all. In fact, they're mighty fine inks (well, Diabolo Methe is just a little too light for normal use). My point is though, you need more than just a name to determine the color. 

    Okay, so now you can't really trust the names, so you look at the 'stock' swab sheets that all of the ink retailers have on their websites that's passed down from the ink companies. These are better than names alone, but only slightly. Here's J. Herbin, and Private Reserve:

    These are okay, but they're inconsistent, so-so color accuracy, and you can't compare colors across brands without downloading the swabs, cropping them in a photo software, and looking at them side-by-side.....even then it's useless because they were done by different people on different paper, scanned with different scanners on different computers, you get the idea.  You can't trust the consistency.

    So my solution was the Swab Shop. I set up to have the most consistent and accurate swabs done within reasonable expectation for the purposes of viewing and comparing ink colors across brands to get a general idea of their appearance to narrow down the selection process for the purpose of getting ink samples to try for yourself. Bam! There you go. So if you have any expectation that these swabs are anything more than that, you didn't get the idea from me.

    The Swab Shop is a tool, and like any other tool it has an intended purpose for which the tool performs best. Try to use that tool for something more than it's intended, and of course it's not going to perform well! I fully and completely agree with all of the 'haters' out there that swabs are not ever EVER going to be able to replace the real thing. And as a side note, if your computer monitor isn't accurately color profiled, then there is NOTHING I can do on my end to have you view accurate colors!

    To get a good idea of an ink, you have to use it for yourself. The type of pen you use, type of paper, pressure you put on the nib when you write, the lighting you're viewing the ink in, and even your eyes' individual perception of color will all affect the way you see ink colors!

    So that's that. Enjoy the Swab Shop or not, it's your choice! After all, it's a free tool I put out there, and if it sucks and everyone hates it, no one will use it. But if it's good and people like it, it'll continued to be used and talked about.

    What do you think of it?

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    About that Noodler's and Rohrer and Klingner...

    I've been burning the candle at both ends for a while now, as many of you know who've been following me lately. I've been blogging every day, which is a task on its own. However, I'm also in the middle of a decent sized home project, watching my 6-month old grow and change every day, and running the day-to-day operations of the Goulet Pen Company. I'm in contact with Noodler's and RnK, and I certainly plan to carry their inks. However, I'm also gearing up for the DC fountain pen show in August, and it's just too much for me (and Rachel, who does all of the web work!) to get into those inks before the show.

    So don't worry, just because I'm not 'aggressively expanding' like I have been for the last few months doesn't mean anything other than I just need to slow down a bit. I still want to take time for the good things in life like watching my son grow up, and keeping in good contact with the many friends and loyal fans I've come to know over the last 8 months. I want to have time to focus on Ink Nouveau, my videos and Ustream broadcasts, as well as gearing up for the DC show to meet you face-to-face. So maybe now I'll go to bed around 1am instead of 2am ;) Haha, probably not!

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Write Time at 9: July 13, 2010

    Join us live every Tuesday night at 9pm EST for Write Time at 9! We talk pens, paper, ink, and random other things (writing related usually).

    This broadcast went just a tad bumpy, because I accidentally stopped the broadcast (oops). So the video's in two parts. Topics covered include my new Swab Shop, my quest acquire Noodler's and Rohrer and Klingner inks, the DC pen show, and more. The giveaway was a No. 12 Rhodia dotPad, where the winner was the closest to email with the closest number of dots on one sheet of the dotPad. There were 374!

    Link to Ustream to view part 1.

    Link to Ustream to view part 2.

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Ink Nouveau #29- Goulet Pen Co. Swab Shop!

    The Swab Shop at the Goulet Pen Company has been a big hit, and for good reason. Over 160 colors (and growing) of ink swabs done on both white and ivory paper, with a glass pen and Q-tip, that are all scanned and color profiled for optimum accuracy in an easy-to-use tool that allows you to compare up to 5 colors as once. Who wouldn't love that?

    This project was a major undertaking for me, just see my other post about it. 150+ hours involving 4 individuals each using their expertise, all to provide a free tool to help you compare ink colors. The idea came to me when I drastically expanded my initial ink offering, from 38 colors to over 160. I could hardly differentiate colors myself, let alone someone new to fountain pens. So I knew in order to provide the best service and enhance everyone's writing experience that this Swab Shop was something I simply had to do! It turned out great, and has been a blast even for me to play around with! This will undoubtedly be a useful tool for years to come, and will only become more powerful as the list of inks expands, which it will, ongoing! Be sure to check it out for yourself.

    Link to YouTube for iPhones and full-screen viewing.

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Free swabs! Yay!

    Okay, so if you've been keeping up with me at all lately, you know I've been doing ink swabs all over the place. Well, I'm happy to say I now have swabs done for every color I have, on both white and ivory paper, I've scanned them in, color corrected them, and my wife (the smart one) is working on putting together a useful way to view them all on GouletPens.com.

    But that's not what this is about! This is about free REAL swabs! For all of my customers now, I'm going to be including swabs I've done of some of the more popular inks within each of the 6 brands I carry. Here's what I do: I have A4 sheets of 210g Clairefontaine Pollen cardstock in both white and ivory, and I print out the name of the ink many times over on the sheets. I swab them with the inks, and cut them out!

    Here's 8 sheets I just did, which will give 192 swabs in all. Yes, I have clutter on my table, don't judge me.

    It's that simple. Then I grab 3 or so swabs and toss them in with every order. Voilá! Swabs in your hands. Here's a closer look yet:

    AAaaaaaand a closer look:

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Goulet Pen Co. Swab Shop: Finally, the swabs are done!

    After about 6 weeks of toil and trouble, we finally have our swab comparison program called the Swab Shop up at GouletPens.com. This has been a serious labor of love on the part of me, my wife (the programmer) and my sis-in-law Rebekah (professional photographer), with consultations done by none other than my friend Sam. We have color swabs done with Q-tips and glass pens with all 160+ colors we carry, on both white and ivory paper.

    The whole reason I wanted to do the swabs was because I expanded ink colors on the Goulet Pens site and began to see very similar ones across ink brands. I also found as I played with more of the colors that many of them appeared MUCH different than I thought they would just by the names alone. I knew what I had to do.....swabs, and lots of them. But more importantly, I needed accurate swabs. So here's what I did.

    I did Q-tip swabs in the most consistent manner possible on extremely consistent and reliable paper, Clairefontaine Pollen 210g cardstock. Because I know how different ink can look on white and ivory paper, I knew I had to do both. Once the 330+ individual swabs were done, I scanned them all in on my scanner, a consistent light source.

    Unfortunately, my scanner doesn't have a targeted custom scanner profile, that would've made my life easier (but poorer!). It was time to work manually! Rebekah's awesome photo editing skills came into play, where she was able to tweak each color as needed looking at the real swab in natural light on her color profiled computer monitor. It's not a 'perfect' process, but WOW did it make a huge difference on many of the colors!

    The only minor issue with the color correction is that it changed the appearance of the paper a little bit...in order to have done that differently, it would have required far more work , and the ink color wouldn't have changed. I figured the color of the paper was not critical enough to justify an additional 20 or so hours of work.

    The Swab Shop is laid out so you have 5 drop down boxes with all of the ink brands and colors listed alphabetically. Simply choose a color, and the swab will appear with both white and ivory paper. You can select anywhere from 1 to 5 colors. Here's what it looks like:

    When you select the ink color, the swabs appear. It's that simple. Here I'm comparing several different greens:

    So let me know what you think! The Swab Shop was a TON of work, but is well worth it. I want you to feel free to copy and use my swabs all you want to share and blog, as long as you give me credit where credit is due. I watermarked every swab, so as long as you don't try to edit out the watermark and pass off the swab as your own, I don't have a problem with you sharing it at all (in fact I encourage it!). Undoubtedly I will be adding more swabs as my ink offerings expand, as well. What are you waiting for, go ahead and play around with it!!!

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