Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Team Goulet Thank You

We just hit our company's official 4-year anniversary on November 17th, and tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We've been in a really thankful and grateful mood this month, which is why Rachel and I posted a reflection video on our journey in this business, as well as our Thanksgiveaway contest. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we wanted to put together a video of many of our team saying a genuine thanks for allowing us to serve you every day.

Thank you!!

Write On,
Brian Gouletblog.gouletpens.com

Monday, November 25, 2013

3 Budget-Friendly Fountain Gifts Perfect for Stocking Stuffers

Introducing a new Personal Shopper series by our own Katy Campbell! Join us over the next few weeks as she shares her favorite gift ideas.

It is that time of year again and the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping has taken off! Shopping lists are getting drafted all the while lines are getting longer. Lucky for you, I’m here to guide you through the fantastic world of fountain pens this holiday season. Think of me as your personal shopper.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be putting together my top picks for shopping for the fountain pen lover (or soon to be lover) in your life. These recommendations come from talking to thousands of our amazing customers and of course, my own personal preferences. I hope you find this series useful and fun…so let’s get shopping!

Fountain Pen Stocking Stuffers

The fountain pen hobby doesn’t always have to be expensive. In fact, there are some amazing value-priced items that work perfectly as stocking stuffers. I know for me, it seems inevitable that each year my stocking ends up with a dentist-approved toothbrush and sugar-less gum. While oral hygiene is very important to consider (especially as you ring in the New Year), I prefer gifting things that are a little unexpected and out of the ordinary, which makes these items my go-to picks for smaller gifts that won’t break my budget.

Ink Samples

Not sure which ink colors your friends might already have or if they would even want a fluorescent hot pink ink? No problem at all! Ink samples are the ideal solution. It is the best way to treat someone to a buffet of the many ink colors available. Go blue. Go orange. Go crazy because it is a sweet piece of fountain pen love. You could even keep the joy coming all year long by giving a subscription to our monthly Ink Drop program.

Pilot Varsity

Simple. Petite. Ready to use. The Pilot Varsity really is a tremendous stocking stuffer. You simply pop off the cap and write away. At just $3.00 this wee little pen is available in several vibrant colors and gives a taste of what writing with a fountain pen can be like. Kids practicing their cursive for the first time will love it. Mom and dad will use it everyday. Grandma might even rewrite all of her recipes with it. You can even get a 7-color variety pack. Varsitys for the whole family!

Platinum Preppy

If you decide on ink samples, why not include a Platinum Preppy to have nestled right next to them. Like the Varsitys, these pens are simple, reasonably priced, and come ready to write. Plus, for just a $2.00 upgrade, we will convert it to an eye-dropper so that you can fill it with any ink color of the rainbow. It is hard to go wrong with something as easy as holiday pie.

Whether your friends and family are fountain pen lovers or not, they are sure to enjoy the small little tokens of inky goodness from you.

So how about you? Any other items you’d suggest? What has been your favorite stocking stuffer over the years?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Edison Nouveau Limited Edition History

Launching the 2013 Edison Nouveau Premiere LE Macassar Ebonite made be a bit nostalgic, so I thought it would be neat to show you all of the previous years' Edison Nouveau LE pens. I show you all 4 LE pens, as well as some others that have special meaning to me. I did another video on the Macassar Ebonite already, which I shot in a bit of a different style than normal. I was going for a more story telling style, with more of an emotional/nostalgic feel to it. I wanted to follow it up with a video that was more focused on the pen itself, and that's what I've done here.

Most of these pens are no longer available, so I know it's a big tease! The buy period for the Macassar Ebonite is still open though, closing after Nov. 30th 2013. Enjoy the trip down memory lane as I talk about all these pens and the motivation for their development.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, November 18, 2013

Brian and Rachel Goulet: Reflection After 4 Years

After just hitting our 4th anniversary of GouletPens.com, we're finding ourselves particularly reminiscent about our journey so far. We've taken our company from a mom and pop website, a laptop, and a couple of bookcases in our dining room, to a 12,000sf office/warehouse with a team of 18 people in 4 years. So much has changed about our company, yet at the same time, so much is exactly the same as what we originally set out for the Goulet vision. We sit down and share our thoughts and feelings with you in the most in-depth and personally reflective interview we've ever given.

We are so grateful to be able to serve you with our blog, videos, and store. Without you we wouldn't be doing what we do every day. We'd love to hear how our company has impacted you and your writing experience over the last 4 years! Please leave us some love in the comments, your stories are incredibly inspiring to us and give us the fuel to keep learning and growing.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Friday, November 15, 2013

Goulet Q&A Episode 13, Open Forum

This week, I went back to an Open Forum, taking any questions that came along through Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Ink Nouveau, YouTube, and email. I ended up with more questions than I had time to answer, but I was able to squeeze in 19 before I had to run. I had at least 10 other good questions that I'll save for a future Q&A.

The questions this week are a bit all over the place, asking me about flex pens, my faith, inks for artists, smoothing nibs, freezing inks, and product lines at GouletPens.com. Be sure to also check out any previous Goulet Q&A videos to see if there are other questions I've answered already. Here are this week's questions:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Delta Serena Overview

The Delta Serena is a new pen that I've been very excited to review ever since I first laid eyes on it back in August of 2013 at the DC Fountain Pen Show. It's taken until now for Delta to begin distributing them to retailers like myself, so I wanted to share them with you.

The Serena is the most affordable pen available from Delta today at $135 list ($108 at my site, the price you'll find at most online stores). It's available in three colors, black, red, and blue. Guess which is my favorite? ;) The pen comes with a stainless steel #6 size nib in fine, medium, or broad, and is coated with a brushed titanium finish that matches the trim of the pen. I'm digging it.

Delta Serena in blue
The thing I like the most about this pen is the way it writes, it just gushes. Those of you who like tiny little Japanese nibs with tight lines that eek out ink, stay away from these. These suckers are like little firehoses and gush ink gloriously from the nib. You'll have to check out the Nib Nook to see how it compares to other pens, I find that the Serena nibs write about a full size broader than other nibs. In the video I compare it to a Lamy Al-Star. The nibs are smooth, not glassy but smooth. They give me just a touch of feedback as I write with them on my favorite Rhodia paper, but don't slip and slide all over the place. Unfortunately, the broad nibs are backordered for me, so I wasn't able to review them. But I don't know that I'll honestly even want to carry them since the fine and mediums are so broad as they are. I can't imagine that there will be that many people that will even want the broad nib on this pen, so if you do want it, let me know in the comments and I'll pick it up if enough people clamor for it.
Delta Serena with a medium nib
I also like the design of this pen, it's sleek and classy, but fairly subtle with the gun metal colored trim. The resin used on these pens is a cast resin, rather than an injection-molded plastic. The blue and red pens have a bit of translucence to them, giving a pearlescent sheen that catches the light as you spin the pen. The black one is just a deep, glossy black with no sparkly stuff in it like the other two. A few nice Delta logos and accents jazz up the pen around the center band and finial.

Delta Serena in black
The only thing that might be hit-or-miss on this pen for you might be the grip section. It's a relatively short grip, so it's almost hard not to have your fingers on the threads that hold the cap. However, the threads are rounded over nicely, so even though I have my thumb resting right on them, I don't find them bothersome in the least. But if you are hypersensitive to touching threads, you might just want to take that into consideration.

Nib and grip section of the Delta Serena
All-in-all, I'm thrilled to see a reputable pen company like Delta release a more affordable pen. Over the last several years I've seen a trend of established pen companies raising their prices and discontinuing entry-level pens, which saddens me because it discourages newer fountain pen users from getting into a brand. Typically I see the more affordable pens being introduced by newer companies like Noodler's and TWSBI, so it's refreshing to see a company that typically sells pens in the $500-$1,000 range offering pens that someone starting out can reasonably aspire to buy. $108 isn't 'cheap' by any means, but for a nicely designed and smooth, wet writing pen like this, I think is quite fair.

I'd love to hear what you think of the Delta Serena, please leave me a comment below!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, November 11, 2013

Kaweco is back, baby!

It's been about two years since you've heard me talk about the German pen brand Kaweco here on Ink Nouveau. It's a line that we used to carry at GouletPens.com but dropped because of inventory complications and supply issues with our distributor, even though we were always fond of the pens themselves. I made several videos that showed the pens and how to use them, and they're kind of amusing looking back now because you can see piled up dirty laundry in the background as I'm shooting in my bedroom! My how times have changed…well, at least now my laundry piles aren't being shown on camera…

Friday, November 8, 2013

Goulet Q&A Episode 12: Troubleshooting Your Fountain Pens

This week's Q&A was actually a topic that I broke out from last week's (Using Your Fountain Pens). I ended up getting so many troubleshooting questions that I split it into a separate video, which is what I made for today. I can easily see troubleshooting as a periodically recurring topic, so it'll be interesting for me to see how you like today's video.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November 2013 Ink Drop Reveal: Christmas Dreams

November 2013's Ink Drop theme is Christmas Dreams. We've chosen some delightful red and green colors for you. Perhaps you'll find a new favorite for all of your holiday cards this year!

This month's colors are:

Which one do you like best?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Introducing: Edison Nouveau Premiere Macassar Ebonite LE 2013

We're announcing something pretty special today, the release of the 2013 Limited Edition collaborative pen between the Goulet Pen Company and Edison Pen Company. In 2011, we introduced the Edison Nouveau Premiere to the world, and it has been a very popular pen for a lot of reasons. It was Edison's first foray into production (non-custom) pens, and it was Goulet's first design collaboration with a pen manufacturer.

Though the Premiere is a pen that is available regularly on our site, about once a year we like to do something special and offer a limited edition pen out of a special material. In summer 2011 is was a stunning blue and black ebonite in the Premiere, and in late 2011 it was a red and black ebonite Premiere we called Cherry Cordial. Last year we did an LE for our Encore pen model out of the phenomenal Flecked Tortoise resin.

This year, we've given it a lot of thought and wanted to go back to an ebonite Premiere, for a couple of reasons. For one, there isn't any production Edison pen available in ebonite, and making them in a large batch like this makes what would normally be a $250 pen in Edison's custom Signature line, and allows us to offer it for $200.

What's exciting to us is the material that we chose for the pen. This is an ebonite that Edison has never used before as it is being purchased through a new supplier. We considered a lot of different colors of ebonite, but this particular one really grabbed us. The Macassar Ebonite has the deep tone and subtle coloring that the original blue and black ebonite had from our first LE. But what really strikes me personally about it is the shade of very dark brown/ black and beige in a wood grain patter reminds me of the exotic wood Macassar Ebony that both I and Brian Gray worked with back in our wood pen turning days. This wood was one of my personal favorites, and this ebonite looks and feels almost exactly like a highly polished lacquer-coated Macassar Ebony. This has all of the beauty of that wood but with the durability, feel, and strangely delicious smell of ebonite.

The Premiere takes a #6 Edison nib made by reputable nib maker Jowo in Germany, and is available in stainless steel extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, 1.1mm stub, and 1.5mm stub. A rhodium-plated 18k gold nib upgrade is available as well, for $125. It is a standard international cartridge/converter fill pen (like most other Edisons), and it can be converted to an eyedropper if you want to increase the ink capacity. The trim of the pen is rhodium to match the nib. There will also be an engraved accent that shows the pen's name, along with an individual number for that pen out of the total of all that are made, that will be backfilled in a silver color to match the trim.

We are accepting pre-orders through November 30, 2013, this will be the open buy period for this pen. Once the buy period ends, Brian will finalize all of his materials and begin production on the pens. The target delivery date right now is January 2014. The ebonite is going through a new supplier, so there is a remote possibility there could be a delay if the deliver takes an unusual amount of time. If this happens, we will give updates to everyone who places an order. We aren't going to impose a limit on the number of pens produced, but they will not be available after November 30th. Each pen will be individually numbered and will accompany a certificate of authenticity signed by both Brians.

We're happy to be able to offer the Edison Nouveau Macassar Ebonite LE Premiere to you today. If you're so inclined, head over here and pre-order one for yourself for $200, or at least leave me a comment below to let me know what you think of the pen.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Friday, November 1, 2013

Goulet Q&A Episode 11: Using Your Fountain Pens

This week, I'm talking about Using Your Fountain Pens. I ended up getting so many questions, SO many questions, that I am splitting them up into next week's Q&A. I received a lot of questions about troubleshooting pens, so next week's theme will be Troubleshooting Your Fountain Pens. Be sure to check out any previous Goulet Q&A's here.

I start off the video talking about Fountain Pen Day, Kaweco pens coming back to Goulet Pens, the TWSBI 580 Rose Gold, the launch of our Thanksgiveaway contest, and the start of NaNoWriMo. After I talk about all this for a couple of minutes, I dive right into the questions, and really cover a lot in a short period of time. This is a packed vid!

1) William Todd- YouTube (3:44):
Do people usually buy expensive fountain pens to use, or mainly to put in a collection?

2) ksugunslinger- Reddit (4:40):
This may be a strange question but I am finding it difficult to come up with ways to actually use my fountain pens on a regular basis. I am not a student so I do not take notes during the day, I attempted to keep a journal but found that I just couldn't come up with things to write about. I am just a normal guy with a normal job who loves fountain pens. I do keep a ink journal and a pen journal but those only get used when I load up a new ink or buy a new pen. If possible can you give me any tips on ways to actually put my pens in use such as alternative types of journals, etc. I love what you are doing with Goulet Pens and Ink Nouveau..keep up the great work.
  • drawing
  • ink journal
  • transcribing- Scripture, inspiring quotes, famous letters or historic documents (US Constitution)
  • correspondence
  • pen reviews- sbrebrown
  • handwriting practice
    • Spencerian
    • Pitman shorthand
    • gothic
    • chancery
  • NaNoWriMo
  • poetry
  • daily to-do list
  • mindmapping- David Allen's book Getting Things Done
3) @WeThePPIL- Twitter (9:54): 
Other than pure preference are there other concerns or reasons to post or not post?
  • cap may come off, get damaged
  • cap may mar finish on pen body
  • security! less likely to have the pen stolen
4) schawncplus- Reddit (11:54):
How do you usually carry your pens with you? Just bouncing around in your pocket? Clipped to your jacket? In a messenger bag/briefcase?
  • laptop case
  • multi-pen case
  • leather slip
  • bare
5) Jeff- email (13:14):
I was wondering if fountain pen nibs go through a "break in" period.  More specifically, will a nib that is a bit scratchy out of the box begin to write more smoothly after a period of time? (check out the Goulet Loupe vid here)

6) tianxia- Reddit (14:38):
What kind of nib is best when writing Chinese characters?
  • FINE nibs
  • brush pens
  • flex nibs, maybe
7) Abarth15- Reddit (15:08):
Would you be able to recommend a fountain pen plan of study so to speak? I see a lot of advice towards people buying their first pen but not as much for their second or third pen. I think it would be nice to have an idea of where to go after a users first or second pen to get the best or most varied writing experience. (Stephen Brown's video Choosing A Second Fountain Pen)
  • sbrebrown- Choosing a second fountain pen
  • start cheap
  • learn what you do and don't like
  • try to get variety
  • ask!
8) GirlGeekLovesStampin- YouTube (16:55):
I have a question regarding the glass pen. I am thinking of getting it just because it's beautiful. But what is it truly designed for? Any suggestions on usage options? Thank you for everything!
  • ink testing
  • different experience
9) RyanMC12- Reddit (18:18):
In general, what is the longest amount of time that ink should be left in a pen between writing sessions?
  • depends on the pen
  • few days to a month or more
10) William S.- Facebook (19:24):
How long should I leave ink in my fountain pen while it is stored before I empty it and clean it? Like, if I'm gone for a week would it be safe to leave the pen inked up or should I empty and clean it?
  • depends on the pen
  • one month, my rule 
11) jeffisntworking- Reddit/ Carlos Q.- Facebook (20:41):
If I have a workhorse pen that always uses the same ink, at what frequency should I be giving it the cleaning treatment?
  • once a month
12) @Never2MuchaThis- Twitter (22:16):
Can I use my pen for self-defense?
  • Schrade Tactical Pen
13) Brooke00000- Reddit (22:49):
How to hold them! As a newbie I hear many people refer to "learning how to write with a fountain pen" and would love some elaboration on what that means.
  • nib up
  • pen at 45 degree angle from the paper
  • 45 degree angle from the line
  • write with your whole arm, pivoting from the shoulder, not wrist
  • little writing pressure 
14) @KwentinBusam- Twitter (25:45):
Can you make the regular Noodlers Konrad Fountain Pen into the Brush version or the ballpoint version?

15) CC- Ink Nouveau (26:00):
I love fountain pens and travel. I've heard that the TWSBI Vac 700 is "flight/plane safe." Is it true? How does that work? It'd be great to be able to take a pen with such high ink capacity on a long trip.
  • FP101- Flying with Fountain Pens 
16) Sarah S.- Facebook (27:41):
How can I spread my love of fountain pens to lefties? (John Mottishaw's article Left-Handed Writers and Fountain Pens)
  • Left Handed Writers and Fountain Pens
  • shows how to hold the pens
17) josh_legs- Reddit (29:13):
How do I know if i can change out the nib on my pen for a different nib (ie by some other manufacturer, etc). Or, I guess, how do I know if a nib is compatible with my feed or whatever?

18) @HerrTepper- Twitter (31:10):
Did You ever try to use printer ink for your fountain pens? Should i try this? There are some les expensive inks with pigments too.

19) Steve B.- Facebook (32:19):
How often should I be putting silicone on my piston pens?

20) Luis M.- Facebook (33:05):
Which method is better about ink filling: to remove the converter to fill it up or to dip the pen inside the bottle? Why?

21) Henry- Ink Nouveau (35:09):
What suggestions would you make to a celebrity who uses fountain pens, specifically a Platinum Preppy Marker as an eyedropper pen, so that when they sign autographs the ink dries fast, maybe dries on plastic coated paper (really every type of paper), is an eternal ink and has some security features for verification of the autograph years from now?

22) TehWildMan- Reddit (36:47):
This is more of an "ink" question, but how do you decide which to use? I currently have 7 sample vials and a full bottle and am spending a good amount of time deciding which ink to use next. I can only imagine it gets worse as one "collects" more inks.

Thank you so much to everyone who asked questions, it's so great to have a ton of questions to answer! If you have any for next week, just ask in the comments below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

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