Goulet Q&A Episode 6, Inks Part 2

This week is Part 2 of my Goulet Q&A topics of “Inks”. Now, I realize of course that the word “inks” is improper grammar, that a liquid can’t in fact be pluralized. But if you can get past that, you’ll find I have a variety of great ink questions that I was able to answer this week. I got so many questions about ink from announcing the topic two weeks ago that I had to split it up, and even then I easily could have made a Part 3 (but I won’t for right now).

Next week I’m going to take a little break from the Q&A theming thing, and go back to just an open format where you can ask me any question about ink, pens, paper, or whatever else that you want. Be sure to also check out last week’s episode of Inks Part 1 here, and previous episodes of Goulet Q&A here.

Here are the questions on ink that I discussed in today’s video:

1) Jude R.- Facebook (1:54):
If you fill your converter with a particular ink, use it some, then decide to switch colors/brand, should you dispose of the ink in the converter or put it back in the bottle it came from?

2) Arika C.- Facebook (3:54): 
The swatch of J. Herbin’s Rouge Hematite puzzles me. Why does it look sort of brownish-green, when the ink is actually a bright red? I wouldn’t have bought it based on that swatch, but it came with a past Ink Drop I was picking up, and I ended up loving it. It confuses me just because your swatches are usually so accurate!

3) Bronson S.- Facebook (5:50):
Are inks with red dyes harmful to fountain pens? I was visiting a local pen shop and the shop keeper did not recommend putting inks with red dyes in fountain pens. I enjoy writing with red inks, like Noodler’s Red-Black, so I would hate to have to stop using them. Aloha from Hawai‘i!

4) Jim- Ink Nouveau (8:07):
Brian, you have in the past mentioned ink colors and at least alluded to brands you like, but what are some of the inks you don’t like and that could be on account of color, nib creep, poor flow in your pens, brand, etc.

    • pinky reds- Platinum Red, Lamy Red, Omas Red, Diamine Brilliant Red
    • weak browns- Diamine Dark Brown, Noodler’s Burma Road Brown
    • weak oranges- Diamine Peach Haze, Noodler’s Summer Tanager
    • fast-dry inks, feather too much

5) Heath C.- Facebook (11:50):
What are the most popular basic ink/colors for everyday writing? A Top 5/10 would be great. i.e. 1.Noodlers Black 2. Sheaffer Skrip Red, etc.

  • Blacks- Noodler’s Black/Heart of Darkness/Aurora Black
  • Blue- Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium/Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao/Kon-Peki
  • Blue-Black- Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts/Waterman Mysterious Blue
  • Red- Diamine Red Dragon/Oxblood/Matador
  • Brown- Diamine Chocolate Brown/Noodler’s #41 Brown

6) Yianni P.- Facebook (13:31):
How does one get Noodler’s inks (i.e. Noodler’s Black & Liberty Elysium) off one’s hands?

7) Leslie H.- Facebook (15:12):
Do you recommend shaking the bottle each time before use?

8) @Alrick33- Twitter (17:13):
History shows 100 year old letters survive; do modern inks stand a chance to last like they used to?

9) strangebirdsir- YouTube (19:26):
I purchased the Noodler’s Bernanke Black as I needed an ink that would dry almost instantly. But I’ve never seen that mentioned before. Maybe I missed it, but what is your impression of this ink? I find that it writes very well in all my pens and drys almost as soon as I’m done writing a word.

10) @MobyProf- Twitter (21:20):
Which inks are especially good for drawing? I’d like an ink that washes well & also leaves a good line intact.

11) elh93- YouTube (23:28):
What is your favorite ink for a demonstrator? Also what inks do you think work better for demonstrators and what should be avoided?

12) Peter D.- Facebook (26:36):
What is the best use for a yellow ink? I have a couple of old Sheaffer Skrip cartridges, they are too light to be used to highlight or underline. Is there any way to mix them with a blue or purple to get something like Noodler’s Avocado or Diamine Evergreen? Thanks

13) Robert M.- Facebook (28:03):
So why can’t Noodlers inks be mixed with one another to achieve darker or lighter shades. Or Special Reserve ink mixing???? Curious as you sell ink mixing kits.

14) DaiReborn- YouTube (30:44):
I would really like to know the difference between the different Noodler’s black inks, especially black, heart of darkness and borealis black. Bernanke and polar blacks are a bit more obvious.

15) Christina A.- Facebook (33:22):
Why do some inks and pens just do not get along? I have a few lovely pens that are shelf bound bc every ink I try (pen manufacturer included) leaks.

Thank you so much to all of you who asked me questions, I wouldn’t be able to do this without you! I’m sorry if I didn’t answer yours, but keep asking and I’ll cover as much as I possibly can next week. Just post your question in the comments below. Thanks so much for watching and have a great week!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

2017-10-11T14:04:53+00:00 September 27th, 2013|Goulet Q&A|18 Comments
  • Jeremy

    Brian, I appreciate your work. Can you please release these as audio podcasts so that I can listen to your Q&As in the car as opposed to needing to watch a video. Thanks for considering it. Jeremy

  • Roger

    I also think this would make an excellent podcast too.A goulet weekly or every 2 week podcast would be really good to listen. Maybe answer in the next goulet Q&A.

  • Bourgeoisie

    What nib size do you find yourself using the most? I know these vary depending on the manufacture but do you prefer a thick line or a thinner one?

  • Blue Moon

    Hey Brian, didn't you used to carry Kaweco pens? Do you think that you may sell them again? Also, do you think that sometime in the future, you'll increase your selection of Sheaffers? One last question – you said that, at some point, you'll tell us about the hourglass. Any idea when? Thanks!

  • Don

    My collection of inks definitely refutes the idea that the word can't be pluralized!

  • freddy

    Hi Brian,

    I am definitely going to be odd person out here but I must post. While I thoroughly enjoyed your Write Time at 9 broadcasts I must admit to being dismayed at these Q&A ones. The Write Time broadcasts were different and with enough surprises to make me attempt to set aside an hour or so during the week to watch them. Your Q&As are much more beneficial to me as reads, not broadcasts (or podcasts or whatever the correct terminology is). I can get through them much much faster as reads than having to stick around for 34+ minutes to glean the information I want and need. The aforementioned Write Time and your current Q&A are two very different animals and, to me, need different presentations. Frankly, I miss Write Time and, especially, Rachel's incredible giggle. (To this day, I am convinced that wonderful little laugh is how she roped you into marriage. 😉 LOL ) All kidding aside, Write Time was open ended with an anything goes attitude. Q&A, on the other hand, offers some serious information and I just want to get to it as fast and easily as possible. The long podcasts (or whatever the official name for those tapes is) simply do not allow for that.

    I hate to post anything negative because I truly love the vast amount of information that the Goulets impart and you remain my premiere site to learn, browse, and buy. However, Rachel and you are always asking for what we think and I just thought you might be interested in one of your readers points of view. I am truly sorry if I have offended as that was not my intention and thank you for hearing me out.

    All the best to The Goulet Pen Company now and in the future.

  • Ted

    I was going to ask the same question! I have one in my Konrad, but I am wondering about how well they have functioned in pens by other brands.

  • steveH

    Brian, there's nothing wrong, grammatically, with "inks". Either as a verb: "She inks her pens regularly", nor as a noun: "The wizard made and bottled his variously colored inks in his secret basement kitchen sink". It's no worse than someone in the 1890s traveling to Bath or Saratoga Springs to "take the waters".

    Maybe it would be different if there was one and only one ink in all the universe, but luckily it ain't the case. (Forgive an old technical writer for the rant.) Your title's just fine as is.

  • I'll look into this…I'd thought about it when I first started Goulet Q&A and you're actually the first to ask me about it. I used to do both an audio and video podcast of Write Time back when we were doing that, and it's certainly more work on my end to make that happen, but I'd consider it if it'll be worth it to enough people.

  • Jeremy

    Thank you. I like the structured nature of your Q&As and find myself listening to them more than your podcasts – but I would happily subscribe to a Q&A feed. Thank you for considering it.

  • Ted

    Thanks! Listened to it again. Indeed!

  • Gordon

    Hi Brian,

    I for one want to thank you for these Q&A's – I agree they could work as an audio podcast if you've got the time to convert the video over, but I have to say I look forward to the weekly instalments, so… long may they last!

    I did want to ask you, though: your latest Q&A mentioned pretty well every Noodlers Black bar the one I'm most interested in, namely X-Feather. How do you find it compares to Noodler's Black?

    Thanks again for these posts – as a new customer, and a recent (re-)convert to fountain pens, I love what you guys do!

  • soniasimone

    Agree, it's like fish/fishes. If it's one kind of ink, go with "ink." If it's multi kinds, inks is perfectly fine. 🙂

  • Freddy, this is very well thought out and I greatly appreciate your honest feedback, even though it's a little hard to hear. I completely agree, for many folks this information would be easier to read and more scannable in text form, like the old Mailbox Monday posts. However, On those posts I was getting very little questions or feedback, there wasn't any sense of community or conversation going on with that format. I was spending an extraordinary amount of time answering emails, and I never even really had a sense of who if anyone was even reading the MM posts. Plus, it completely catered to my blog audience and left my YouTube audience with nothing, and there's quite a following over there. The truth is that even as relatively straightforward as Mailbox Monday seemed, it was hours and hours of my time to put those together, and it just got to be too much which is why I stopped doing it. Write Time was even harder, especially because Rachel and I had to do it after a full work day, it would be a 16-hour day by the time we finished recording it, and that was just brutal and took its toll.

    The Q&A idea was one inspired by another video blogger I greatly respect, and what I liked about it was the ease of production, ability to cram a great amount of content into a small amount of time, and the ability to get my face more in front of the camera and show you a little more who I am. No doubt as I do more of them, I'll get a little more comfortable and be able to relax and show my personality even more.

    So while I completely understand where you're coming from, there are a lot of factors involved in the type of content I produce, and the commitment of my time is certainly no small aspect these days. I fully recognize that you and many others probably don't like the Q&A format and would rather have something else, and I will take that into consideration…but Q&A serves a bit of a different purpose for me than previous things I've attempted, and I'm still seeing how it goes.

  • That's basically what I do, too.

  • Thanks, I'm glad you are digging the format! Yeah, X-feather is kind of a special ink. The biggest difference with that ink is that it's noticeably 'thicker' than the other Noodler's inks, and will have a very long dry time. However, that's a consequence of its formulation, which is meant to keep it from, well, feathering. Many people love the ink, even calligraphers who actually use it with their dip nibs!

  • Gordon

    Thanks for that – I ordered a bottle from you last week (currently somewhere in transit between Ashland VA and Australia!), so I guess I'll get a chance to try it out myself soon enough… I mostly write on photocopier paper or other non-specialist paper, so hopefully it'll serve that purpose well.

  • cpkc

    Brian, thanks for all the info. I really like your videos.

    I don't know if you've covered this before, but I'd like to get grumpy about the design of some ink bottles —especially Noodler's. Their inks are fine, but those tall bottles, which come filled to the brim, are really impractical to fill a pen from. They seem much too easy to tip over. I can just see some fountain pen newbie being traumatized for life when they permanently dye their carpet, or a favorite pet. Have you heard ink-spill horror stories from customers, or am I overreacting? I haven't spilled anything yet, but I have cats, so I set the bottle in a glass bowl or measuring cup while filling my pen. Speedball inks come in a very stable short and squatty bottle, and Diamine bottles are nice and low, too.

    And while i'm picking on Noodler's — whose inks, I repeat, are fine — they need to hire someone to redesign those cluttered labels. You can't easily tell the ink color from the weird photos they use, and the name is too small, especially if you're trying to read labels that are kept behind a pen store counter.
    And don't get me started on that goofy logo.