Monday, March 31, 2014

Sneak Peek: Lamy Safari Neon Coral 2014 Special Edition

Though the Lamy Safari Neon Coral isn't set to be released in the US until mid-May, we were fortunate enough to get our hands on a sample pen so we could photograph and shoot a video! We're so glad we were able to, because this is one color that we knew would be really tough to display accurately in digital form. The color really pops, and much of the more impressive vibrancy is lost on a computer monitor despite the best of intentions. But seeing it in video form like this helps, especially comparing next to the Pink Safari and Orange Safari, which are both special editions from the past.

The Safari is a solid performer and a great workhorse pen that many people get into early in their fountain pen hobbies. With the ability to swap nibs between extra-fine, fine, medium, and broad (in black and steel) as well as a 1.1mm, 1.5mm, and 1.9mm (in steel only), the Safari can give you a versatile writing experience without having to purchase a new pen each time you want a different line. Be sure to check out the Goulet Nib Nook to see writing samples as well as the Pen Plaza to see how the Safari compares in size to your other favorite pens.

Lamy Safari Neon Coral 2014 Special Edition

Some people have their opinions about Lamy coming out with a pink pen after they just completed another revival of an older special edition, the pink Safari. I do compare them in the video, and I must say that they are a more distinctly different shade of pink than they appear in photos. I can certainly appreciate the argument that the color isn't 'different enough' though, as they certainly could have gone more drastic (like purple, if anyone at Lamy is reading this!). I imagine this will be a point of discussion for Lamy fans.

Lamy stainless steel nibs available in extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, 1.1mm, 1.5mm, and 1.9mm stub

If you're one to match your ink to your pen, then I can recommend a couple of colors for you. Granted, it was actually kind of tough to find a lot of pinks that were really close! The closest by far was Diamine Coral, with Diamine Pink, Diamine Flamingo Pink, and Platinum Red as close runners up.

The Neon Coral Safari will sell for $37 list ($29.60 at GouletPens.com). It takes Lamy proprietary cartridges or a Z24 or Z26 converter (sold separately, $4.95). Though this pen won't be out until mid-May in the US, you can sign up for the email notification list on our site. We have a good stock on order so we don't anticipate any supply issues, and we'll be able to let you know as soon as they arrive to us.

So what do you think of the Neon Coral?

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gorgeous images of the new Pilot Metallic VP

Pilot USA was kind enough to send us additional images of their upcoming Metallic Vanishing Point fountain pen collection coming this May, which we blogged about yesterday. Enjoy!

From top to bottom: Copper Red, Desert Orange, Valley Green, Tropical Purple, and Mountain Blue

From top to bottom: Tropical Purple, Valley Green, Desert Orange, Mountain Blue, and Copper Red

From top to bottom: Mountain Blue, Desert Orange, Copper Red, Valley Green, and Tropical Purple

Mountain Blue

From top to bottom: Desert Orange, Copper Red, Tropical Purple, Mountain Blue, and Valley Green

So tell us, what color is calling your name?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sneak Peek: Pilot Metallic Vanishing Points!

We're thrilled to reveal an upcoming new product from Pilot: the Metallic Vanishing Point. While we haven't yet seen it in real life, these five metallic body colors are a bright deviation from the cool muted colors of the existing line.

From top to bottom: Copper Red, Mountain Blue, Valley Green, Tropical Purple, and Desert Orange.

The Metallic VP comes with matte black trim and a matching retractable black 18k nib, in nib sizes extra-fine, fine, medium, or broad. You can choose a rhodium or gold colored nib instead, but the black nib would be ideal to match the trim.

The price is the same as the existing line of Vanishing Points, at a list price of $175 (our price at GouletPens.com will be $140), and is expected to launch in mid-May here in the US.

What do you think? Are you as excited as we are?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Goulet Family: Bigger and Smaller

Goulet Family, March 2014

Goulet Family, November 2012

Those of you who know how we do things over at GouletPens.com know that we're a family business. We started out with just Rachel and myself, expanding our family with our son Joseph and daughter Ellie over the last 4.5 years! We've grown our Goulet Team quite a bit over the last 3 years, taking our company from just a mom and pop to soon-to-be 23 people on our team.

It's been exciting growing so much, but we've always felt it's really important to keep our company personal. That takes a little more intention to do now than it did in the early days! One of the ways we do that is to put up biographies and pictures of all our staff on our About Us page. It gives you a sense of what we're all about as a company, as well as what we are like as individuals.

The reason for this blog post though is to let you know we've updated our Goulet Family picture on the About Us page. It's been a year and a half since we've done so, which may not seem like a long time. A lot has happened in that time, for us! Our kids (then 11 months and 2 years old) are now 2 and 4 respectively, and they are just bundles of energy that keep us all chasing them around the Goulet shop every day!

Those of you who've been following me and watching my videos anytime in the last 9 months know that Rachel and I have been changing our health lifestyle pretty drastically. Mainly it's been diet changes, with a more active lifestyle. Rachel has amazingly lost 25 pounds, which is incredible to do after having two kids (great job, honey!!). And I have lost 65 pounds because I cut out a lot of bad food and I ride my bike like a maniac every day.

You can really see the huge difference we've made in our lifestyle in our new family picture, which Rachel's sister was kind enough to shoot for us this past weekend when we visited her family. I don't write any of this to brag (okay, maybe just a little because we've been working really hard!). Really, I just want to inspire those of you who need a little motivation to perhaps eat a little better and be a little more active. Time marches on, life gets crazy, and being self-employed young parents we totally understand how crazy things can get sometimes. We let ourselves go for a good 10 years or so before we finally decided to do the hard work to turn things around. And now that we have, we can really see the difference it's made.

How about you? I'd love to hear your inspiring stories or hear some of your goals that you've set for yourself so I can give you some encouragement, just leave a comment below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Friday, March 21, 2014

Goulet Q&A Episode 25, Noodler's

I knew this week was going to be a big one, and I was right…Noodler's. There's plenty to talk about with Noodler's ink or Noodler's pens, I probably could have split these out into two separate weeks! But alas, I did not. I ended up getting just under 50 questions, which is more than I have gotten for any other Q&A.

Obviously, there's no way I could answer that many questions in a single video, given the talker that I am. But what I did was pack in 26 questions that I felt I could answer best into this video, and I'll split out a separate one for next week. I've taken all of the questions that I felt would be best to ask Nathan and set them aside, and I will do my absolute best to get him on the phone to answer them for next week. I tried to make that happen this week and we just weren't able to make our schedules sync up. I will do my absolute best to make this happen for next week.

Here are this week's Noodler's questions: 

1) @geekosupremo- Twitter (7:57):
How “bulletproof” is Noodler’s Black? After it’s dry could I go over it with water colors?

2) Wildman- InkNouveau (9:44):
Has Mr. Tardiff announced anything new for 2014?

3) Shawn J.- Facebook (11:58):
Clogging with bulletproof and higher inks. I get 3 to 4 times longer flow with nano carbon ink than with any bulletproof, eternal, and similar Noodlers Inks. Is that something I just have to live with?

4) Heather P.- Facebook (14:38):
As a fountain pen newbie, what's the ONE thing I should know about Noodler's?

5) Fred- email (15:48):
About Noodler's, which models do not have the smell, so I may buy some. How do you get rid of the smell if they do?  

6) Gina S.- Facebook (19:10):
I have a clear demonstrator Nib Creaper and the barrel has stained an awful yellow color. I have tried using vinegar, bleach, and denture tablets on it. Nothing has worked so far. Do you have any suggestions?

7) Nikesh J.- Facebook (20:32):
I have a brush pen but the ink won't flow through, even after 2 cleanings. Any ideas?

8) @Peninkchillin- Twitter (21:45):
Any plans for a wet noodle flex pen? Wet noodle = very flexible nib with big variation. 
9) Anne W.- Facebook (23:06):
I have watched Nathan 's video about putting calligraphy nibs in his pens and I can't get it to work. I have destroyed 2 Ahabs so far. How on earth does he do it?

10) Rob P.-Facebook (24:34):
The feed on my Ahab flex pen is always extremely saturated with ink. So much so, that if I accidentally brush the feed against my finger or on paper, a huge ink glob will emerge which stains my fingers and ruins my writing. None of my other pens seem to have this issue. Is this a function of the Ahab pen lineup in general or is it just my feed? 
11) Steven C.- Facebook (27:19):
Is there any way for Goulet to order the non descript Preppys used by Noodlers for Resale to Goulet Customers?

12) Christine M.- Facebook (30:26):
Will Nathan continue to produce the ebonite Konrads? I noticed the other day that you only have one style left in stock (I snapped one up to avoid missing the boat). Just wondering if we'd see more ebonite stuff.

13) Michael P.- Facebook (31:52):
Why do I get extremely long dry times at the end of a fill with most bulletproof or semi bullet proof inks. I'm talking upwards of a half hour or more. The ink will smudge if you run your finger across it. At the beginning of the fill the ink dries in a reasonable amount of time. This is excluding obvious reasons like evaporation over time. I know you can add water again but I was just wondering what's going on here.

14)Theresa A.- Facebook (35:06):
What is the best way to get rid of Baystate Blue stains--on/in a pen, on hands, on clothes, on the kitchen counter?

15) Robert-Ross T.- Facebook (37:03):
Is there any news regarding the Neponset? Looking forward to that pen.

16) Amber M.- Facebook (38:25):
What is the nib size in the Noodler's Konrad Flex? I see in the Goulet listing it says "steel flexible #6", but is that equal to a "extra-fine", "fine", "medium", etc. nib point? Are there replacement nibs available in the various nib point sizes? I very much appreciate the time and effort the Goulet team puts int sharing information with us. goulet offers customer service like no one else!!
17) Ray C.- Facebook (40:34):
1. I read something about Noodler's being a more saturated ink intentionally so that we could dilute it if necessary. Is this true and if so are there any specific "recipes" on doing so?
2. Are Noodler's inks mixable or do they have a mixable set like Platinum inks?
18) Hardy P.- Facebook (45:09):
I have a theory that the plastic in the pens with the "funky smell" lets water evaporate out of the ink. Am I crazy? It seems all my Noodlers pens lose ink. Is there another explanation? It's probably just me.
19) Scott B.- Facebook (47:28):
Do you think you will ever collaborate with Nathan Tardif again to create another exclusive ink like liberty's elysium. A new exclusive color would be interesting but I think it would be wise to try and revise liberty's elysium as an even more bulletproof true blue. Let's be honest liberty's elysium is a beautiful blue ink but its bullet proofness isn't up to par compared to upper Ganges, or even platinum carbon blue. 
20) Adam V.- Facebook (53:16):
I cleaned my Nib Creeper for the first time the other day. I noticed that if I manipulate the piston with the nib up (so the water was flush with the piston plunger) I could see air bubbles coming up past the plunger when it moved. Is it really supposed to do that?
21) Steve B.- Facebook (55:15):
When are the Acrylic Konrads being restocked?

22) Kris H.- Facebook (56:11):
How do you increase or decrease to flow of ink in the flex nibs?

23) Patrick D.- Facebook (57:22):
Love the look and feel of my Konrad acrylic. I don't love the plasticy smell. Suggestions?

24) Pavel V.- Facebook (58:04):
How to highlight a text written with Noodler's black without smear?
25) Michael L.- Facebook (59:10):
Is there a noodler's vibrant purple equivalent to j. herbin's violette pen see?

26) 林理谙- Facebook (59:51):
Nathan Tardif!!! Will he ever appear again on your videos? Maybe not live, like in write time, but maybe to answer some questions like in a Q&A video? Will we ever see him besides his hands? 

Thanks so much to everyone who asked me questions this week, sorry I was only able to answer about half of them! That's just how things are starting to go as I'm getting more and more great questions. Make sure to check out all of the old Q&A videos if you've missed them! Have a great week.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Heat Setting a Noodler's Ebonite Feed

One of the most asked questions we get at GouletPens.com is about how to tweak the Noodler's Flex pens: the Ahab, Konrad, and Nib Creaper. These pens are honestly a modern marvel in the pen world, but they are not without their quirks.

Cleaning out your pen thoroughly is always a good first step, if you ever have any flow issues. That's with any pen, honestly, not just Noodler's. But once you've done that, you may feel that the pen still just isn't quite working like you'd hoped. There could be a variety of reasons that pens like these have flow issues, but far and away the best thing you can do to troubleshoot them is to heat set the nib.

Heat setting is a great option for helping with the following situations:
  • Consistent railroading 
  • Dry writing
  • Hard starting
  • Dripping
  • Excessive leaking into cap
  • Blobbing
  • Excessively wet writing
  • Changing of the nib to another type

The great thing about the hot water heat setting method we show in this video is that it's so easy to do, and so simple. You don't have to mess with lighters, candles, or voodoo to get it to set, the hot water works great. And you can heat set over and over and over again if you find you need to. Just heat the water, set it again, and go from there.

Heat setting is something that has raised a lot of questions and has been shrouded in a bit of mystery. But you see now how straightforward a process it really is, and it can get that fussy Noodler's pen working like you feel it should.

I'd love to hear your comments,  questions, or concerns! Just post in the comments below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Friday, March 14, 2014

Goulet Q&A Episode 24, Open Forum

I'm back after a week off for family vacation, thanks for being patient! This week's Goulet Q&A is an Open Forum, and I got a great variety of questions. I went a little long on this vid, partly because I had great questions and partly to make up for by guilt of missing a week! Enjoy:

1) Andi S.- Facebook (3:25):Now that the 2014 Lamy Safari color is out, what are your thoughts on the color? Love it or hate it? Or relatively indifferent? 

2) Mate F.- Facebook (7:45):
Any chance of you carrying the lower-end Pelikans, like the M200 for example? I mean, it's a good company, but I don't want to drop $600 on a pen, but I'd want to order it from you guys. I know you could special order any Pelikan, but having a few of the cheaper one in your warehouse might be a smart move.

3) John J.- Facebook (10:59):
A few things... Do you guys intend on carrying more Jinhao pens, or just sticking with what you currently carry (for ease of Goulet nib swaps)? The 159 I just got from you guys is fantastic. I picked up (elsewhere) a slick 9009, with a hooded nib that writes a decently fine line (similar to a Pilot Metropolitan). Would love to see more low-cost options in the lineup. Secondly... I think we'd all love a peek into the Goulet warehouse/operations. What happens when we submit an online order? Not saying to give away any "trade secrets" here, but I think we all enjoy some behind the scenes stuff.
4) Garth M.- Facebook (14:22):
Hey Brian, I was wondering if you've heard much about the Visconti Eco-rollers? Any chance Goulet Pens will be carrying Visconti in the future?
5) Winnie P.- Facebook (18:41):
Have you ever considered some kind of recycling program for your ink vials? I can see I have a bunch empty and thought they must cost your company a good amount of money.
6) Carissa S.- Facebook (20:00):
I noticed this months ink drop has pigmented and iron gall inks, as a new user of fountain pens is there anything that i have to look out for when inking up my pens with these inks? and when I flush them out is there anything special about the cleaning process to take note of with these kinds of ink?

7) Rob P.- Facebook (22:25):
Any idea if/when the TWSBI Vac Mini will be released? I have been eagerly waiting for this pen. Hopefully it is still in the pipeline. Thanks!!
8) Heath C.- Facebook (23:09):
Are there any production FPs with multiple ink options similar to a multipen in the ballpoint world? I think it's Edison that has one that's special order that looks like a double ended light saber but I'm wondering if there is anything available off the shelf.
9) Carmen C.- Facebook (24:48):
How does the Original Crown Mill Classic Laid paper compare to the G. Lalo Vergé de France paper?
10) Gordon C.- Facebook (25:35):
The Kaweco Sport (ICE or Classic): The FPGeeks review of this pen now begins with an update that warns against using it as an eyedropper, because "ink seeps between the section and the cylindrical plastic that houses the nib/feed" - which (apparently) looks unsightly and is very difficult to clean out. Do you see this as a concern - or is there a way of avoiding it? Thanks in advance! 
11) Carmen  C.- Facebook (28:03):
Do you have any idea why the US and European paper sizes are different?

12) Adam T.- Facebook (28:55):
Do you have any tips on how to get pens that don't fully disassemble to dry out more quickly after a cleaning so that you can refill them sooner without diluting your ink?
13) Karl B.- Facebook (31:38):
Not technically Pen-Related, but how many different GouletPens bookmarks do you guys currently have in the office for outgoing orders? (For example I got 3 so far, two with a Benjamin Franklin quote, and one with just "Write On" -Ink Nouveau).
14) @willia4- Twitter (34:10):
When I turn my Monteverde Invincia over and look at the underside of the nib, I see a large number of ridges. Same with my Nemosine Singularity.  If I look at my Sheaffer 100, it has just a few ridges. When I look at my Lamy Safari, it doesn't have any. Are these ridges functional or decorative? If functional, what do they do? When selecting my next pen for purchase, should this be one of my criteria?
15) Kevin M.- email (38:11):
I have heard that Pelikan will begin selling Edelstein Ink in cartridges form shortly. Have you heard anything specific?

16) Scott B.- Facebook (39:58):
Two questions: I know one day you may do a Q.&.A. on Twsbi but i must know, is it possible to flood the feed with ink by turning the mechanism on the Twisbi Vac 700 without braking the seal; making an inky mess? I find this act convenient when the nib becomes a little dry. This works perfectly with my piston filling 580 and other converter filling pens but will it work for a vac filler? My last question is a little off topic but since this is an open forum, what diet program or should I say life style choice have you made for loosing all the Waite you've lost? I've been thinking about getting in better shape my self and have been reading some books on doing so. What's your secret?

17) Logan V.- Facebook (49:08):
I'm looking for a good "workhorse" pen that I can use at my office. It needs to be able to take some abuse but also look nicer than the Pilot Varsity disposables that I have been using. Also able to use with Noodler's or other bulletproof type inks would be great. Thanks!

Next week's video will be back to a brand theme, and it's a big one: Noodler's. This has to be one of the most talked about brands in the fountain pen world, with lovers and haters equally passionate for their pens and ink. I'm going to answer as many questions as I can to the best of my ability regarding this very mysterious, controversial, and exciting brand. Just leave me questions in the comments below. If you missed any old Goulet Q&A's make sure you check them out here. Have a great week!

Write On,
Brian Goulet 

Friday, March 7, 2014

March 2014 Ink Drop Reveal: Lasting Impression

Using a new ink for the first time is always an exciting experience - that's what Ink Drop is all about. However, not every ink leaves a lasting impression, meaning that it will last permanently on the paper. These inks are all permanent and will outlast any reasonable effort to remove them! Here are the five inks we chose for the March 2014 Ink Drop, themed Lasting Impression:

Noodler's Bad Green Gator is part of the Warden's Series, meaning it is ideal for check-writing and fraud-resistance. It is one of the few highly water-resistant green inks that we're aware of.

Noodler's Upper Ganges Blue is a nice medium chalky blue with strong water resistance as well.

Platinum Carbon Black is a pigmented black ink, chosen as a favorite black ink by many artists. It is definitely permanent once it dries on the page.

Rohrer & Klingner Salix and Scabiosa inks go hand-in-hand. Both are modern iron-gall inks and will last a long time on paper! The blue and purple colors, respectively, are muted and quite pleasing to the eye.

Writing samples by Alex Ross

By the way, if you like these colors, you can sign up for this month's Ink Drop through March 10. After that, it switches to April.

So tell us.... what is your favorite permanent (or highly water-resistant) fountain pen ink?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Create Calligraphy-Style Quotes with a Noodler’s Flex Pen and Organics Studio Inks

This blog post was written by our own Andrea Goulet Ford - she is our Content Lead, social media/marketing strategist, and Brian's big sister!

Don’t you just love a good inspirational quote? I know I do. One of my favorite hobbies is writing quotes in a pointed pen calligraphy style. It’s not perfect. It’s probably barely even calligraphy. But it’s a true expression of me. Isn’t that what the fountain pen hobby is all about anyway?

When I found out we were adding the Organics Studio brand to our ink selection, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on their "Masters of Writing" line. I started by inking up some Emily Dickinson in a Noodler’s Ahab Flex pen and researching some of her quotes. Here were the results:


And of course, once I started, I couldn’t stop...

There was Walt Whitman...


Edgar Allan Poe...


Jules Verne...


Sir Isaac Newton...


L. Frank Baum...


Mark Twain...


F. Scott Fitzgerald...


and Jane Austen...


The paper I used was 24lb HP Laserjet, which is the same paper we use for our invoices. Overall, I found the ink dried quickly and had very little spread. The high saturation was great for making the quotes pop off the page and the flow with all the inks felt glorious in the Ahab — not too wet and not too dry. Normally, I use a much heavier bond paper, carbon ink, and a dip pen to create my quotes. Using the Ahab was much faster and I was able to completely lose myself in my writing. Before I knew it, I had almost thirty quotes (and very inky hands)! If you want to see all the quotes, head on over to Facebook or Pinterest.

The only ink I didn’t like for this project was Charles Darwin, which is a quick drying ink. It spread too much to get the fine lines needed for that calligraphy look. It would probably be great for a lefty who doesn’t care about line variation, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re trying to write with flair.

If you’re interested in learning how to write in this style, I’d recommend checking out Molly Jacque’s class called Introduction to the Art of Modern Calligraphy over on Skillshare. That’s where I learned most of the techniques I implemented here.

So, how about you? Have you given your flex pen some love lately? Or maybe you have a favorite quote that you’d like to share? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments.

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