Monday, April 30, 2012

Mailbox Monday #9

My email inbox gets a plethora of interesting pen related questions, and I spend a good deal of time crafting thoughtful responses to each person who writes to me. A lot of times, the questions I get are good ones that I feel are worth sharing with you! I'll be posting highlights of some of my more interesting email questions every Mailbox Monday. These are some emails of mine from the past week or so:

I'm looking at getting either the Stainless steel or black Lamy Studio. What are your thoughts on grip (wondering about the bare metal vrs black on the Studios - slick?), weight and barrel size?

I'm actually much more in love with the black rubbery grip on the SS studio. The bare metal grip is okay, but it gets slippery after a while if you are like me and have really oily hands. The SS studio is heavier, but is well balanced. Both pens are pretty well balanced, both pens are just a teeny bit back heavy when posted. The one thing to look out for with the SS studio is that trim ring that holds the cap onto the grip section, it wants to unscrew over time. I actually did a video on it: http://www.inknouveau.com/2011/10/lamy-studio-trim-ring-mystery.html
It's not a big deal, especially once you know to look out for it. Personally, i think the finish on the SS pen is crazy cool, it looks far more impressive in person than in pictures. The barrels on the Studio is thicker in the middle (it kind of bows out), but the grip sections on both are about the same, so I doubt you'd notice too big of a difference when actually holding them. The main difference in the grip is the material, as well as the contour....the Studio tapers on the grip section to the nib, the Accent is convex, so they feel a bit different depending on where you hold them. 
I recently received an order from you which included a Private Reserve Sepia ink sample (among 4 other browns). I LOVE this colour, but after doing some research on line, there seems to be some hesitation from others about using it due to the fact that it "sticks" to the side of the tube thus leading to a concern about clogging your pen. When I went on PR's website, they don't list it as a current colour thus adding to the concern. I couldn't find your full-blown review on your blog. I don't believe you would send anything that wasn't "safe" for our pens, but would appreciate your thoughts on this ink colour.
Clearly, we take our ink very seriously, so I appreciate your letting me know about the ink not being listed on PR's site. The ink is new....relatively.....to PR's line. It actually came out a while ago (year and a half ago?), but it looks like they never updated their site. They came out with two more colors as well, one at the same time as Sepia (Rose Rage), and another last summer (DC Super Violet). They are both missing from their list as well, but we've been ordering them all along and we haven't been told they will stop them. I will let them know about the inks missing from their site....you can tell by it's 'homemade' qualities that it's not updated very often! ;) 
It's true the ink is a little 'clingy', some inks are like that and it's not just PR. J. Herbin Rouge Hematite (1670), and Diamine Pumpkin are also like this. It has to do with the chemical composition of the ink, as well as the level of saturation of the ink dyes. When the dyes reach a certain level of saturation, they begin to fall out of suspension and 'settle out', and this is what can cling to the bottle. Shake the ink back up and it gets the dyes back into suspension and it's good to go. I haven't had any serious clogging issues in my pens using Sepia, but then I also don't use it for long periods at a time. If anything, the ink will just need to be used in the pen more regularly than other inks, and may require a bit more effort to clean, especially if the ink dries out in the pen. I can say thought that after carrying this ink for about a year at a half now, that I haven't had complaints about it performing much different than any of the other inks we carry.
I would like to replace the nib on my Lamy (medium) with a fine one.  Lucky I have a Safari -- no other pen appears to have replaceable nibs.  Or am I missing something?
Most other pens don't have replaceable nibs, but some do. Kaweco does, as does Edison, Pilot Vanishing Points, most Pelikans (mxxx series), and TWSBI 540's. But Lamy is the king of nib changing, and has the widest range of available nib sizes. 
About the Caran d'Ache Blue Night 30ml bottle ink, which I have heard somewhere from the FPN that there's a "bad batch" of ink that came through with wrong color. The Thai importer of Caran d'Ache also completely discontinue importing Blue Night ink to Thailand for the very reason. Which is a shame, as I totally Love the color, and it's excellent property. And so, does the Blue Night that is available on Gouletpens belong to the new batch or does it still belong to the troublesome batch? 
I just checked the Blue Night we have on hand and it matches what I swabbed up originally nearly two years ago. Since I've never had any report of a color variation from our customers in the two years we've been selling the ink, I can't help but think that the issue was isolated to another part of the world and we never received any of that batch. What we have on hand appears to be exactly what it always has been.
I have one quick question. I can't seem to find the answer online. Is the Edison nib a Bock nib? I have found the Bock nibs on the TWSBI to be better than the original and am wondering if the Edison is also a Bock.
Edison uses Jowo (prounounced Yo-vo) nibs, which are made in Germany and they rival Bock nibs. TWSBI is switching to Bock from Schmidt (another smaller German nib company), and Bexley if you're familiar with them, just recently switched from Bock to Jowo. Both Bock and Jowo make great nibs, they are the two leading independent nib makers in the world, no question. 
When using a converter and the ink is running low, is it smart to tighten the converter so there is less space between the ink and the plunger? I always wondered about that. 
It doesn't really matter. As long as ink is touching the back of the feed, it'll draw through the pen. How much air is behind it doesn't make a difference. The ink flows through the pen with capillary action, so as long as there is ink there, and it's at the bottom of the converter (not stuck up at the top), then you're good. The only time you need to tighten down the converter is if the pen starts to dry up a bit (like if there are air bubbles in the feed) and you want to force some ink down through to get it going again, but that's not usually necessary. 
What is the best way to store ink?, and in particular, since I have many antique ink wells, many cast iron type from the 1800’s, which pretty much have loose lids or pewter, glass or brass, would the ink be ok for a period of time, or just dry up?  I haven't tried it, but I would hate to pour some in a well and find it thickening over time. 
Keeping ink well sealed is pretty crucial, unless you're going to be using it very quickly. Fountain pen ink is water based, and if left unsealed, the water will evaporate and the ink will thicken, eventually drying completely. The good thing about water-based inks though, is that if they do thicken up a bit, you can always just add water back in and get it back in shape! Distilled water is best. Also, keeping ink out of direct sunlight is key, as many ink dyes break down with UV exposure. It's best to keep them in the boxes they come in, or in a drawer or cabinet :) 

I like a wider rule on my lined paper, so I hope it's okay to trouble you with two questions that came up when I was browsing: Lined Rhodia Soft Touch notebooks: Any chance you know what the ruling size is? I don't see it in the details on the product pages. Lined Rhodia top-wirebound note pads: The ruling is listed as 8 mm, and I just want to double-check with you regarding this, as all the other lined Rhodia products seem to be 7 mm.

Oh my, I didn't realize we forgot to list the rulings on the Rhodia soft touch pads! Thank you so much for letting us know, that was a simple oversight on our part. You can imagine how we might miss something like that with over 2400 products on our site right now :P 
Anyway, all of the staple bound Rhodias (including the soft touch pads) have 7mm ruling, and all of the wire bound have 8mm. I don't know exactly why they do them this way, but they do! 

Hopefully these posts are helpful to you! I'd love to hear what you think in the comments. I'll be compiling this coming week's emails into next week's Mailbox Monday post!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Product Timelines

In a better effort to keep you up to date on new products coming in to GouletPens.com, I'm going to post when we have a better idea of delivery dates for new things coming to us. The reason I'm posting these ahead of time is so you can sign up for the email notification lists for the items you're interested in, that way you will be automatically notified as soon as we list them in stock. For a complete list of all the new things at GPC, check out the 'Coming Soon' page on our site. Here's what's on the way:

We recently met with the distributor for Stipula, Conklin, Delta, and Monteverde, and we're going to be carrying select pens from them, as well as all the Stipula and Monteverde inks. There are a LOT of different choices for pens we can carry within these brands, and we're going to start out slow. We would absolutely love your feedback about which models you'd like to see us carry, so please shoutout in the comments here or to me by email about which ones you like. Look to see us start carrying these brands in the next few weeks. 

I also haven't talked much about Stillman & Birn yet, but I will soon enough. For those running circles in the watercolor/ink washing world, these sketchbooks are pretty darn exciting. Here's a little about them:

Alpha Series: White paper, 150g (100lb) weight. Vellum finish for dry media and light washes.
Beta Series: White paper, 270g (180lb) weight. Multi-media surface.
Delta Series: Ivory paper, 270g (180lb) weight. Multi-media surface.
Epsilon Series: White paper, 150g (100lb) weight. Plate finish for pen & ink.
Gamma Series: Ivory paper, 150g (100lb) weight. Vellum finish for dry media and light washes.

That's a lot of exciting stuff coming in soon! I absolutely plan to blog about every one of these things, so look for more info about all these coming in the next few weeks. We'll be updating each of the product pages with more info as it becomes available, and I'll work to keep the blog up to date, too. 

Write On! ~Brian Goulet

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fountain Pen 101 Friday, Introduction

As a part of my new blog format, Fridays will now be reserved for Fountain Pen 101, a series of videos on elementary fountain pen education. The idea behind Fountain Pen 101 is that there is a desperate need for education for those who are interested in fountain pens but who need to learn the basics.

The world of fountain pens is vast and very rewarding, but it can certainly be intimidating unless you have some guidance. Rather than send you off to random forums and blogs to piece together bits of information, I'm going to step you through all of the things you need to know to begin learning and growing as a fountain pen enthusiast.

These videos will all be compiled into the Fountain Pen 101 section of the Fountain of Knowledge on GouletPens.com. The Fountain of Knowledge is an emporium of all the best pictures, reviews, and online tools that we've built over the last two years to help fountain pen enthusiasts make the most out of their writing experience.

Some ideas of FP 101 videos that I will produce include:
  • Explaining the differences between ballpoints, gel rollerballs, and fountain pens
  • How paper can affect your fountain pen writing
  • The 'Trifecta' of pen, ink, and paper
  • Pen filling mechanisms
  • Explaining different ink characteristics
  • How to fill piston pens
  • How to load an ink cartridge into your pen
  • Elemental fountain pen terminology
  • How to properly maintain and clean your pens
  • and a lot more!
These are just a few of the basic ideas I have, but I am always looking for more. I've been immersed in fountain pens for several years now, and I sometimes overlook the basics in my own daily pen use, so please don't hesitate to contact me or post in the comments below if there are burning questions you have about how to use your pens. I may very well make an FP 101 video on it!

See the other Fountain Pen 101 videos here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Apple Green Lamy Safari is Coming Soon!

Lamy Apple Green Safari

For reasons beyond my ability to explain, we haven't been able to officially talk about the Apple Green Lamy Safari until today. Word leaked out about this pen with pictures floating all around the internet for the last several months, but in the US we weren't allowed to show any pictures or post anything official about the pen's existence or arrival until now. We want to remain in good graces with Lamy, so we played by the rules. My apologies to all of you who were trying to figure out what's been going on with this pen but been confused with all the hush-hushery going on.

Anyway, we did have a chance to see one of these pens for ourselves, and though we don't have any in stock, I was able to snap a few pictures of it. It's a real nice looking green, very vibrant but not ridiculous. I know a lot of you are looking forward to this color, and I don't think it will disappoint. Like all the other Safari pens, this one accepts proprietary Lamy cartridge, a Z24 (or Z26) converter (not included with the pen), and has an interchangeable steel nib.

Officially, retailers aren't supposed to advertise the pen at below list price, $35. I'm sure once the hype dies down, the pens will be able to sell closer to their Safari brethren at a fair market price. We don't have an official eta for these pens, but we're told "mid-May" is the arrival date, and I'll update on Ink Nouveau and GouletPens.com just as soon as we know more. If you'd like to be put on the GPC email notification list for the arrival of the pens, just go here and sign yourself up on the email notification list.

Lamy Apple Green Safari (on rice!)

Lamy Apple Green Safari (on beans!)

Lamy Apple Green Safari (on travertine!), posted

Lamy Apple Green Safari, capped

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Quo Vadis Habana A4 Blank - Wed. Review

Every Wednesday now, I'm doing reviews/overviews/comparisons of specific products and brands. Today is all about the new A4 Quo Vadis Habana, which just arrived in the US.

Many of you have been asking for A4 bound journals, well the wait is over! Quo Vadis has come out with their Habana journal in an A4 (8.25" x 11.75") size. The journal itself is well-made just like the other sizes, folds incredibly flat and has the elastic enclosure, back pocket, and ribbon marker that you will recognize from the smaller sizes. For the time being it's only available in a black cover with blank paper, but they could offer more if these are popular.

Quo Vadis A4 Habana

Quo Vadis A4 Habana

Quo Vadis A4 Habana back pocket

What more can I say? It's a Habana and it's big. It has 80 sheets of fountain pen friendly 85g ivory paper. The price isn't too bad either. The 6"x9" A5 Habana lists for $24, and this A4 Habana is $30, for nearly twice the paper area.

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Noodler's Art Contest Winners, Konrad Flex, Rome is Burning

Timeline for the video:

0:00-3:00 - Famous quotes from the US Founding Fathers
3:01-17:25 - Artwork of the contest winners (amazing!)
17:26-22:02 - "Rome is Burning" introduction, new Noodler's ink
22:03-29:58 - Konrad Flex Pen introduction

Nathan Tardif of Noodler's ink introduced an art contest last year, where contestants could submit artwork depicting a catfish in some majestic manner using only Noodler's pens and ink. This video compiles all of the winners of the contest, who get some pretty sweet prizes. I am simply amazed at all of the entries! They are something to really appreciate. Congratulations to all of the winners, you all have done some incredible work!

I'm seen threads on the Fountain Pen Network where the contest winners received their prizes, which included any combination of things such as the new Rome is Burning ink and Konrad Flex pens, even a pen that's been in development for a while with no definite eta, the Neponset.

In typical Nathan style, we didn't find out about the new ink, Rome is Burning, until the introduction of this video. That said, we'll look to acquire it and offer it on GouletPens.com just as quickly as we can. The ink looks really interesting, a golden brown/copper color that when wet, turns a vibrant purple. I imagine you ink washers out there will find some really interesting things to do with this ink!

Nathan's not holding much back on this ink, touting right on the bottle that "aqua shading ink of flames burning Rome's purple...excess liquidity will reveal the Patrician color". He has several famous quotes by, as well as pictures of, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Benjamin Franklin, and the Roman Emperor Nero.

Undoubtedly, this is a jab at the US Government's willingness to print money as fast as it can, echoing a similar message from the Bernanke ink released last year. Nathan's known for expressing his beliefs on the Federal Reserve and US monetary poilicy on his ink bottles. If this kind of thing turns you off, then you will HATE this bottle!

The Konrad Flex Pen is also introduced in this video. I have a couple of sample pens and I will be making my own video in the next week or two, as these pens are closer to being available. I can say from handling them and using them, that they are an evolution of the piston-fill and Ahab flex pens, taking a lot of their best attributes from both and putting them into more of a mid-size body that I think will be more appealing than the typically small piston-fill flex, or typically large Ahab flex. I'm excited for these to arrive.

Noodler's Konrad Flex pens, in Red Mesa Tortoise , Roaring 20's Brown Tortoise, and Blue Tortoise Fleur De Lis 

Noodler's Konrad Flex, with #6 size nib, clear ink window, and tortoise (semi) translucent body.

Noodler's Konrad is piston-fill, with a blind cap so that posting the cap won't untwist the piston accidentally.

Noodler's Konrad disassembles entirely, with no tools required at all. 

One thing is certain, Nathan certainly is passionate about what he does, and his video is every bit as long and entertaining as all of his previous ones! I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Write On!
~Brian Goulet

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mailbox Monday #8

My email inbox gets a plethora of interesting pen related questions, and I spend a good deal of time crafting thoughtful responses to each person who writes to me. A lot of times, the questions I get are good ones that I feel are worth sharing with others, so that's what this post is for! I'll be posting highlights of some of my more interesting email questions every Monday. These are some emails of mine from the past week or so:

I saw that Lamy USA has the Lamy Nexx and I really want one. Are you planning to carry them?
Yes, we are when they come available to us. Lamy USA is selling them right now to test the demand for them, and will open them up to their retailers sometime soon. I don't have a definite date when yet, but expect that we'll offer them as soon as they're available to us.

For those like me who are not so good at visualizing these things, can you relate to me how the new Edison compares to some other standard pens like, perhaps, the TWSBI 540, a Parker "51", etc.?  Perhaps a picture for comparison or a way to compare pen sizes?
I completely hear where you're coming from with the sized thing, I'm a visual person too and dimensions don't give me the best sense of a pen's relative size! The Encore is pretty close in size to a Pelikan m200, if you're familiar with that. It's longer, but the diameter is nearly the same, as well as the weight and balance. The TWSBI is much bigger....I'm not that familiar with the Parker 51 so I'm afraid I'm no help there! I'm going to work on an Encore blog post soon where I show other pens relative to it, I just haven't gotten around to it yet :) 
Can a waterman 'fountain pen' converter be used to replace the ink cartridges on a ballpoint pen? Additionally, will fountain pen ink work in a ballpoint pen? 

Fountain pen ink and ballpoints are about like gasoline engines and diesel engines. Yes, they look the same and perform similarly, but they are in fact very different and you can't interchange them. Back to pens, the exception when it comes to using fountain pen ink in ballpoint pens is when you have ballpoint pens that are specifically designed to use liquid fountain pen ink, but these are very few and far between, and Waterman doesn't make a pen in this manner (that I know about). Ballpoint pens use cartridges, which are essentially entire pens themselves, the actual pen body is merely a housing for the cartridge. Fountain pens are different altogether, where the pen itself has all of the internal components, and it's simply the liquid ink that you're buying to refill it. 
Long story short, unless you're buying a rollerball pen that is designed with internal components specifically made to use liquid fountain pen ink, then you'll need to stick with 'regular' ballpoint cartridges!
I LOVE the Orange Pilot Custom I bought from you guys a week or 2 ago. That is my second pen with a gold nib and I would have never guessed at how much gold nibs increase the quality of writing experience. Which brings me to my question. Can your new pens be ordered with an 18k nib that is offered on I believe all Edison pens? Or can one be bought separate and fit in the pen?
The Custom 74 is an amazing pen! I have a blue one and it's honestly one of my top go-to pens. I LOVE the way it writes. There's not always a clear distinction that 'gold writes better' or 'steel isn't as good as gold', I've certainly used some gold nibs that are scratchier and stiffer than some steel nibs. There is a lot that goes into nib design, and the material of the nib is just one factor (albeit an expensive one!). Honestly, the nib on the Encore is pretty awesome, it writes very wet and flows quite freely. The only thing you'll find that it lacks compared to some gold nibs is in its flexibility. We talked to Brian Gray about offering a gold nib on the Encore and it is certainly possible, but it will be expensive. He hasn't given us a firm price on it, but it's likely going to be around $125 as an upgrade from the pen (that's $125 additional to the pen!). It's not cheap, for sure, so it's hard to justify unless you simply can't see another way. Honestly, I would suggest getting it with the steel nib first, and  you can always pick up a gold nib down the road if you just don't find the steel works ideally enough. I think you'd be surprised though. 
If you have time could you explain what is the difference between the TWSBI 540 and VAC 700? or may be make a video.
I won't be able to make a video yet, the Vac 700 isn't even released yet! I will once it is thought, in the next few weeks. The biggest difference between the two pens will be the filling mechanism, the 540 is a piston filler, and the VAC 700 is a vacuum filler. Here's how the Vac-700 works: 

Have you to specify the value in customs declaration? Because I'd like to buy a gift for a friend of mine and send him directly from your website (I'm serious). It would be very inelegant let him know the price, written on the package. Only if possible, of course. (this is a customer in Italy)
When it comes to customs declarations, I have no 'creativity' at my disposal. Even if we were to mark a package as a 'gift', the value of the items are still going to be printing on the customs form, which is taped onto the outside of the box. The 'gift' designation doesn't even qualify in this situation either, even though you are sending it to someone else as a gift, it's still considered merchandise and they will charge the appropriate customs fees on the items. The only things that can be declared as gifts are items that are sent from one individual to another, with no money changing hands. Since we are a business, even if we marked it as a gift they would likely still charge customs fees, and even worse I could get in real serious trouble for falsely marking a package as a gift! I'm afraid the only way to avoid your friend knowing what you paid is to order what you want and have it shipped to you, then you ship it to your friend after you receive it. I wish there was a better way, but there's no work around here. 
I understand that the Kaweco ink doesn't come in a bottled form. I wanted to find out if you know which other ink would come closest to the Kaweco blue. Is the Sailor gentle Ultramarine a good contender? Are there others that would be a close approximation to the Kaweco Blue?
I've never swapped up the inks that are only in cartridge form, such as the Kaweco inks, so there is no easy way to compare them in the Swab Shop. I honestly can't say that I know 100% which ink will be closest to Kaweco Blue! I've never swabbed it for a direct comparison to other inks. I have limited experience with the ink, but I think that some of the best contenders would be Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire, Sailor Jentle Ultramarine (might be a tad more purple, but would probably be close), Private Reserve Cosmic Cobalt, and J. Herbin Bleu Myosotis. 
Hopefully these posts are helpful to you! I'd love to hear what you think in the comments. I'll be compiling this coming week's emails into next week's Mailbox Monday post!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blog Rededication

Things have been pretty crazy around the Goulet household lately. In the last 7 months we have moved our business out of our house to a commercial space, hired 3 new members to our team, had our second child, moved our business again, and we're preparing to move to a new home to better accommodate our growing (personal) family in June. I must admit, it's been a bit challenging to keep up with all this and keep GouletPens.com growing and thriving, but we have! However, Ink Nouveau has been a bit neglected in this time, especially the frequency of my videos you enjoy so much.

Things are going to continue to get crazy over the next few months, and if I don't work to better manage my time with Ink Nouveau, then it will continue to remain less of a priority like it has for the last 4-5 months. It is really important to me though, so I've taken some real time to do some soul searching. I think I have a new plan to help Ink Nouveau to thrive.

The biggest change is that I'm going to schedule regular postings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Here's how it's going to go:

Mailbox Mondays
Every Monday I will post questions I get by email along with my responses, and it may cover anything in the writing genre. Here are some past ones I've done: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7. These will always be in written form. 
Wednesday Reviews
Every Wednesday I will post brand/product specific reviews, overviews, introductions, updates, comparisons, and the like. It'll be open to any fountain pens, ink, or paper that so inspire me to cover. I will make a very concerted effort to always make these in a video.
Friday Fountain Pen 101
Every Friday I will post introductory videos on a variety of fountain pen related topics, the idea being that new people will have a place to go to learn the things they don't even know to ask! These will be most often in video format, and my goal is to make them extremely clear and concise. It will cover a host of simple topics and will also be compiled into the Fountain of Knowledge for easy reference ongoing. The idea is to build a catalog of simple and informative videos that anyone can watch to learn about our beloved hobby. 
I will still be posting other fun videos and pictures on other days of the week, but these three days are what I'm dedicating to posting every week come heck or high water. Look for my first Mailbox Monday post tomorrow!

Write Time....Write Now

As I explained in our most recent Write Time live broadcast, it's become too intrusive on our personal family time to continue to do Write Time at it's current time (9pm EDT). I do think the format of Write Time is good though, and I don't want to give it up altogether. So while the future of the Wednesday night Write Time is up in the air, I want to introduce a new effort for the live video format. I will still have live broadcasting with a chatroom through JustinTV like we do right now for Write Time, but I will make it more of a spontaneous broadcast, and it will be during work hours. The idea is that I will be able to jump on for 30 minutes or so at a time during the work day to show you new products as they come in, do Q&A sessions, and just let you know what's on my mind as it's happening.

I'm calling the new broadcast Write Now, since it will be similar to Write Time but in a more spontaneous iteration. I will use Facebook and Twitter to announce when I'm free during the week to be able to broadcast, and I will still record the broadcasts and post them as usual, for those who aren't able to join in. I realize that moving the broadcast to the daytime will be far less convenient for many of you, but it's the best I can do for the time being. I think it will add a new dynamic to the broadcast, we'll have to see how it goes! I'll try to jump on at least once a week.

Let me know your thoughts

Since Ink Nouveau is something I do in my 'spare' time (of which I have little these days), it's important to me that I be able to give you the most bang for my buck....meaning that I have to focus on the things that you enjoy the most and that are the most straightforward for me to provide to you. As part of this, I'd love to hear what you think about my new format, as well as any ideas you have for things I should focus on first. After all, I use your input a great deal when determining which things I should talk about most urgently. The more I get asked about a given topic, the more likely I am to make it my priority to blog about it!

Thanks so much for sticking with Ink Nouveau, and for supporting my blog and my store during this completely crazy and exciting time we're experiencing. I want to provide you with the best fountain pen education and community as possible, and this rededication is the next step to helping me do that.

Write On!
~Brian Goulet

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Write Time 4/18/12 (Encore Release)

After a week-long teaser, we finally released the new Edison Nouveau Encores last night during our Write Time broadcast, with Brian Gray of Edison joining us by phone. The chat wasn't working for most of the broadcast which was a total bummer, especially since we had so much to talk about! The broadcast went for a solid two hours, mainly because we had been on hiatus for the last month and had a lot to talk about.

So here they are, the Edison Nouveau Encores!

Edison Nouveau Encores in Amethyst Ice, Turquoise Lagoon, and Blue Agate

Edison Nouveau Encore in Amethyst Ice

Edison Nouveau Encore in Blue Agate

Edison Nouveau Encore in Turquoise Lagoon

Thanks to everyone for all of your great feedback and positive affirmations on the teasers this week. I spent probably way more time than I should have taking pictures for this pen, but it was a total blast for me and I saw it as a somewhat rare opportunity so I wanted to make the most of it :) I'd love to hear your feedback about the teaser, and what you think of the pen as a whole!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Encore Release Day Has Arrived!

After teasing you for an entire week, the day has finally arrived when we'll release the Edison Nouveau Encore for sale. We'll be doing it tonight during our Write Time broadcast, putting an end to our month-long hiatus with Brian Gray as our guest by phone. The pen has been a collaboration between the Gray's and the Goulet's more than 6 months in design. I've been using the opportunity to practice my photography skills with my new camera, and to tease you to have a little fun ;)

kicked off the teaser last Thursday with a really blurry photo of all three pens. You really couldn't tell what was going on, and I wanted it to be that way! I had a whole plan laid out for teasing over the coming week ;)

You could see hints of the material colors, but hardly. On Friday, I decided to show extremely close macro images of the three materials (names to be revealed tonight during Write Time).

I'd mentioned that there were going to be three new features never seen on an Edison pen before, and I wanted to leak them out one at a time. Even from the blurry first image, a couple of you were able to guess that a centerband was one of them, sure enough you were right!

Brian Gray had told us a while ago that he was thinking of trying a pen with a centerband. We asked about it and if it was something that he was going to be able to make on a production basis, and when he said he could, we were all about it!

Saturday I posted about the centerband and showed some broader scope material shots. I've been taking just about all of the images with my macro lens at this point, trying to get as much detail as possible. Keep in mind, pens aren't that big to begin with, but when you're trying to fill the frame with 1/4"-1/2" of surface area, it gets really small! Dust that you can't even see with the naked eye becomes glaring!

Sunday came around,  and it was time to show the second new feature. Engraved #5 nibs! Edison has had engraved nibs since last year with the launch of the Edison Nouveau Premiere, but this is the first pen to have it with a #5 (smaller nib). We're excited about it. 

These nibs are also removable and swappable, just like all the other Edison nibs. That's a huge plus for the brand as a whole, and as an added convenience we are going to be stocking additional nib units and making them available for sale.

These nibs write just a bit wetter and broader than the Edison #6 nibs used on their other pens. For this reason, I wanted to devote a day just for the way these pens write. That was what Monday was for!

I included writing samples of all of the new Encore sizes (fine, medium, and broad steel nibs), as well as samples of all of the Edison #6 nibs. These samples are also available in our Nib Nook so you can compare it to any of the pens and nibs that we offer.

Finally, yesterday I did a size comparison with the Encore to some of the other Edison pens and listed full detailed dimensions.

And so, that brings us to today! The official day of the release, where I reveal the last and final (or should I say finial) component to the Encore, an inlaid medallion in the cap:

This is something else that Brian Gray had mentioned to us a while ago, and we were excited about having the opportunity to use it on our collaborative pen. It's been a lot of fun doing this teaser over the last week, thanks to everyone for your interest and comments on the blog.

We'll be sharing the whole story of the pen's development during our Write Time broadcast at 9pm EDT where Brian Gray will be joining us by phone. We're going to have the whole pens to show by video, as well as make the pens available for sale. If you have the time, join us tonight! I'll be posting a recording of the video with full pictures of the pens tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Encore Teaser Pics, Day Six (Size Comparison)

Part of what I've touted about the new Edison Nouveau Encore is that it is smaller in size than other Edisons. So (without revealing the whole pen) I wanted to give you at least a little perspective on the size of the Encore.

Here are all the detailed dimensions of the Encore:

  • Overall Weight:.....16g (0.56oz)
  • Cap Weight:.....9g (0.32oz)
  • Body Weight: .....7g (0.25oz)
  • Overall Length (capped):.....132mm (5.2in)
  • Overall Length (posted):.....154mm (6.1in)
  • Body Length: .....118.5mm (4.67in)
  • Cap Diameter (no clip):.....13.4mm (0.53in)
  • Cap Diameter (with clip):.....17mm (0.67in)
  • Body Diameter:.....11.25mm  (0.44in)
  • Nib Length:.....19mm (0.75in)
  • Cap Length:.....62mm (2.43in)

Encore (left) slightly tapers on the body end, but not as drastically as the Premiere (right).

The overall length of the Encore is shorter than the Premiere, especially the body. The diameter is smaller, too.

Though the Encore and Premiere ends taper differently,  they are both still able to post.

The diameter of the Encore cap (bottom) is slightly smaller than the Premiere (top), and it is shorter overall. 

Edison #6 nib (left) on a Premiere, Edison #5 nib (right) on an Encore.

Size comparisons of Edison nib and grip sections (top to bottom): Collier, Hudson, Encore, Premiere. The Encore has the Edison #5 nib, smaller than the #6 nib used on all the other Edisons.

This is all, of course, leading up to our big release on April 18th, where we'll be showcasing the pens in full, and making them available for purchase. Feel free to check out the other pics revealed yesterdaytwo days ago, three days ago,four days ago, and five days ago. Tomorrow I'll be showing the last 'new feature', as well as a recap of the whole teaser.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Encore Teaser Pics, Day Five (Writing Samples)

Pretty pens are nice, but pens are also functional and need to write well. The way a pen writes is important, and can make or break the whole experiencing of owning a fountain pen. I'm proud to say that the nibs on the Encore keep up with Edison's stellar reputation for writing excellence. Brian Gray tunes his nibs to ensure his famous 'smooth with a touch of feedback' writing experience. 

The #5 Edison nibs are just this, and they rather wet. Here are all of the nibs as you can find them in our Nib Nook, the writing comparison tool I've compiled with my own handwriting on GouletPens.com:

Nib Nook sample of Edison nibs used on the Encore, done in Noodler's Black on Rhodia 80g dotpad paper. 

Comparing them to the other Edison nibs (#6 nibs), I find they do write a little wetter, and a little broader on the page than the steel #6's. These #5 nibs write closer in wetness and line width to the Edison 18k gold nibs:

Nib Nook writing samples of Edison #6 nibs, done in Noodler's Black on Rhodia 80g dotpad paper.

Edison Nouveau Encore with Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki

Edison Nouveau Encore with Diamine Amazing Amethyst

Edison Nouveau Encore with Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki

Edison Nouveau Encore with Lamy Turquoise

Edison Nouveau Encore in Lamy Turquoise, this pen will fit and fill fine in just about any ink bottle.

This is all of course, leading up to our big release on April 18th, where we'll be showcasing the pens in full, and making them available for purchase. Feel free to check out the other pics revealed yesterday, two days ago, three days ago, and four days ago.

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