Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Matchup: Pilot Metropolitan Violet Leopard & Private Reserve Tanzanite

We’ve paired the popular Pilot Metropolitan in Violet Leopard with Private Reserve Tanzanite this week. This was a natural coupling, as Tanzanite is a true, robust purple that is a perfect match for the Violet Leopard.

Artwork was done by our very own Joe O. His Tanzanite drawing was made from a photo found on the Mama Artemisia website of a group of Hadzabe Bushman tribe members.

Here are a couple additional pics for your viewing pleasure.

Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Goulet Q&A Episode 37, Open Forum

I'm sorry to say that you're stuck with just me this week for Goulet Q&A. The message was sent loud and clear that you love having Rachel with me in the video, but she just couldn't work it out in her schedule to be here with me this morning. She really wanted to be, but things have been a little crazy for us as we've just switched over some logistical things for our Lamy and Pilot Nibs (see the explanation here). We also had to say goodbye to our beloved Katy Campbell this week, she's moving away to carry on the next phase of her personal life with her boyfriend and she's leaving a huge void in our customer care team! But we're also welcoming Jeremy Worley, whose bio will be up on our site soon. We're really excited about him, and he's really enjoying his first week with us. But Rachel's covering a lot in the transition.

We've launched a couple of exciting new products this week, too. Quiver pen holders (check out the video I did here) and Monteverde 36-pen cases (video review coming soon) are an expansion for us beyond the Aston leather cases that we've been carrying for years. It's nice to have a variety of different pen cases to offer to you.

This week's theme is an Open Forum, and I always enjoy the variety of questions I receive. I ended up getting so many, I could only answer about half of what I received. But I'll be saving the rest. Here are the questions for this week:

1) Martin- email (4:14):
J. Herbin Rouge Hematite seems to have gone through at least two reformulations, one to reduce the amount of gold particles and one that you announced in this week's newsletter to increase the gold again. How many versions have there been in total, what are the differences between them, and is there any way to tell which version my bottle is? 

  • 4 total versions
  • we’ve been in the dark most of the time
  • not good communication from J. Herbin
  • reformulations have been with good intentions, but are confusing everyone
  • mixed stock worldwide, no real way to know which version you have
  • differences are very subtle though

2) Zahl A- YouTube (8:48):
I have somehow gotten ink in between the two layers of my cap on my Twsbi 580. Is there anyway to get it out. (This is really annoying since it is a demonstrator)

  • insert can be removed with #2 pencil and rubber band

3) Cristhian J.- Facebook (10:09):
Why is international shipping so expensive? Seriously, why?
  • Because it’s seriously that expensive, for us
  • high initial cost, incremental costs are lower as weight it added 

4) Wei-Tsung L.- Facebook (12:09):
What's the best pen for copperplate besides dip pen? Maybe Noodler's flex pens, Pilot FA nib? Or is it a bad idea to write copperplate with fountain pen?
  • Definitely something flexible
  • Noodler’s flex pens, Pilot FA, Pilot Falcon soft nibs 

5) Dominick D.- Facebook (13:15):
Do you guys have any Sailor pens in your private collection and how do they perform compared to Pilot pens? Secondly, can you special order Sailors?
  • Brian- Sailor 1911L with music nib 
    • doesn’t write well, honestly, disappointing for the price
  • Rachel- Sailor Pro Gear Slim broad
    • was terribly scratchy and needed to be honed
    • writes okay now, but has flow issues
  • Never been impressed with Sailor pens firsthand, though I hear people saying good things about them online

6) Brian R.- Facebook (15:45):
1. What is the best way for one to contact Pilot USA to request all of the nib sizes available in Japan to be offered here?
  • not sure there is a ‘best’ way
  • LOT of logistical issues with importing special nibs, customer demand is just one factor
  • talk to Goulet, we are gaining a lot more influence with Pilot these days and are encouraging more nib offerings
2. Does snail mail have more impact than email?
  • Usually, but depends what the purpose is and who it’s going to
3. Does Nathan Tardif have an apprentice of some type? If not, is he a young fellow? Not to cause a panic run on Noodler's ink, but I really am rather curious.
  • he’s late-30’s/early-40’s
  • not aware of any apprentice
  • definitely something a lot of people ask about! 

7) Tim K. - Facebook (19:43):
You just talked about the mix free inks; what other inks are mixable? I really love the way Noodler's writes so I'd love to know if I could mix with them, and; if so, which colours would you suggest doing it with? I'm addicted to the videos by the way!
  • Most inks are mixable within the same brand
  • Try to keep inks with similar properties together
    • Baystate inks with Baystate inks
    • Pigmented with pigmented, etc
  • Mixing is all about experimentation, start in small 1-2ml batches and always mix outside the pen and let it sit for hours to see if there’s a negative reaction
  • check out FPN Inky Thoughts for threads on ink mixing 

8) Carlos Q.- Facebook (22:22):
How can you effectively clean a feed and a nib that accidentally has been smeared with silicone grease?
  • yikes! Try to avoid this
  • chemicals won’t clean it, you have to physically remove it (wipe/scrub) 

9) Rachel S.- Facebook (23:17):
Can Kaweco AL Sports be converted to eyedropper?
  • technically yes, but it’s a bad idea because ink will react with the aluminum of the pen body 

10) Antoinette S.- Facebook (24:07):
How long do nibs typically last and are there any signs/things to watch for that let you know you need a new nib? I know none of my pens are old enough to need new nibs at this point, but I have a few pens that I use a lot more frequently than the others and I'm curious.
  • Really depends on the nib (tipping especially)
  • untipped nibs will last a few years, maybe more depending on quality
  • tipped nibs will last decades, or longer
  • they’re hard to wear out with normal use, but dropping them or using too much writing pressure can bend them 

11) Alexander F.- Facebook (25:43):
1. Why don’t you just fill up one Pilot Varsity with a $3 value (probably less for you) with every ink on stock/samples so you can have instant-fountainpen-writing samples at any time?
  • the pens come preloaded with ink, it would take tremendous time to clean them out and refill each one
  • not just pen cost, but ink cost, and time 
  • The ink wouldn’t keep in the pens for more than a month or two
2. Is there any ink extremely unlikely to feather on cheap paper?
3. Have you ever considered doing xxl-inkdrops with like 10 inks/month, because with the current concept i'm probably paying a lot more postage on the international shipping than on the inks themselves.
  • Not something we’re capable of doing right now, managing essentially two different ink drops
  • postage is a significant part of the cost, but would cost even more with more ink vials/heavier package
  • just not practical

12) Pearl B.- Facebook (30:25):
I would like to know which brands of notebooks you carry have a table of contents or indexing feature in them.
  • pretty much just Leuchtturm hard cover journals 

13) Lauren M.- Facebook (31:45):
I have ink pooling on the medium nib of my Lamy Studio. Can I fix this or do I have to purchase a new nib? (Assuming the problem solely lies with the nib) (Pic on Facebook)
  • that’s nib creep! Check out FP101 Terminology
  • it’s as much the ink, not necessarily the pen or nib
  • highly saturated inks creep worse, because dye is dry so lubricants are added to counteract
  • the additional lubricants cause the nib creep
  • You could dilute the ink to lessen the effect, but it will dry the flow a bit 

14) Linda T.- Facebook (34:14):
Do you find that there's a correlation between how much an ink sticks to the side of the plastic sample vials and the shading it gets on paper? The J. Herbin ink here shades less than either of the other two, for example.
  • no really, there doesn’t seem to be a correlation 

15) Heath C.- Facebook (35:56):
As a fountain pen first/only company what is the thinking on when to use other writing devices or why not to use others? I'm FP first/only for the most part but have a soft spot for pencils and a utility spot for other pens at times.
  • The earliest days of GouletPens.com were hand-making pens, rollerballs only
  • fountain pens were where we initially saw success, not just because of the pens but the community of people that use them 
  • first year in the fountain pen world we didn’t even sell pens! just paper and ink
  • it would seem natural to explore other writing instruments as time goes on
  • we do carry TWSBI pencils and have talked about others
  • Palomino Blackwings are something we’ve talked about for 4 years
  • selective rollerball pens are something we’ve talked about
  • this has been something we’ve discussed a lot with our company mission/vision/purpose/values we’ve just finalized
  • we must first understand ‘why’ we would expand, and what we could offer to the community by doing so
  • not just trying to ‘sell stuff'

16) Richard S.- Facebook (47:32):
Having a dickens of a time figuring out inks that are "safe" for Lamy 2000. The company says to only use Lamy inks, but I find them too dry. What are your comments. Maybe my pen needs to be fixed.
  • Pretty much every pen company says to use their inks, don’t worry about it, it’s a CYA move on their part
  • You can honestly use whatever fountain pen ink you want, especially in this pen
  • Have fun!

17) Jessica B.- Facebook (48:55):
What's the likelihood of you guys getting ahold of Akkerman ink? I gotta have one of those bottles but I don't want to jump through all the hoops there are right now.
  • likelihood is approximately 0%
  • Akkerman is a retailer like us, and only sells their stuff direct, from what I understand
  • start jumping if you want it 

18) George A.- Facebook (50:00):
The nib and feed in my noodlers ahab seem to get stuck every time I try and put them in. Has this happened before? Even if i push them in just under half an inch they get stuck. Is there a way to fix this?
  • You have to put them in the right orientation, there’s a subtle slot they fit in
  • the opening on the pen is not perfectly round, but more like an oval
  • putting it in the wrong orientation will jam it 

19) Soo Lee- Ink Nouveau (51:38):
Any thoughts on using "expensive" fountain pens in daily life, particularly outside home? Most of my best pens are used as desk pens, and I find myself reluctant to use them when I'm out and about. (This might be even worse because I generally work from home.) Of course, expensive is a relative term, because I'm sure lots of non-fp people think paying $15 for a Pilot Metropolitan is ridiculous. 

  • this is different for everyone
  • many people can’t imagine spending anything significant on a pen, even $15 for a Metro like you said
  • other people carry around $1000 Namiki LE pens as their daily writers
  • it’s really an individual thing
  • personally, I carry more based on what I am enjoying writing with at the moment than necessarily what the pen is worth
  • i do keep a close eye on where my pens are at all times though

20) Craig W.- Ink Nouveau (53:51):
I know how much you love your Pilot Custom 74 and Pilot has a ton of pens/nibs that don't make it outside of Japan. If you were going to Japan what would make it onto your wish list; brands, pens, nibs, ink or paper? 

  • would love to try a bunch of the crazy Pilot nibs (FA, SU, MU)
  • Sailor has a bunch of crazy ones, too
  • Tomoe River paper

21) Meg- Ink Nouveau (55:43):
I'm pretty new to the fountain pen world and now that I've got some "cheaper" pens in my arsenal I'll be ready soon to add a more expensive pen to my repertoire. I know I want a gold nib, and I'm looking at the Lamy 2000, the Pilot Vanishing Point, and the Pilot Custom 74 but I am having a hard time deciding between the three. I really love my Pilot Metropolitan so am leaning towards one of the Pilots so far, but the timeless design of the 2000 really draws me as well. I have a Lamy Safari and do like it though I find it a bit big. Any suggestions to help my choice?
  • Safari is big? all of these will be bigger in diameter than it
  • If the Safari is too long, then maybe stick with the VP, or plan to use the Lamy 2000 or Custom 74 unposted
  • I personally have and use all three, none of them is a bad choice! 
  • The VP has convenience with the click
  • The Lamy 2000 has durability and ink capacity
  • The Custom 74 is most conventional and writes like a dream

Next week's Q&A will fall right on 4th of July! I'll still post it, but it'll just be another low-key Open Forum. I already have good questions leftover from this week, but feel free to ask away and I'll add to them. Don't worry about me though, I'll be taking Friday off. I record Q&A's on Thursday and little will need to be done by me on Friday to actually publish the video :) Be sure to check out any previously missed Q&A's here, and have a great week!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quiver Pen Holder A5 Overview

Quiver is a company that makes some pretty unique leather pen holders that attach to your A5-size hard cover journals like the Rhodia Webnotebook and Moleskine. In this video I show the single and double holders, as well as the adapters that fit with them.

Quiver Single Pen Holders: (1:30)
Quiver Double Pen Holders: (4:24)
Soft-Cover Adapters: (7:05)

Quivers are some pretty unique pen holders that I first discovered a few years ago, actually. I couldn’t really tell you why I haven’t started carrying them before now other than to say our companies just never really linked up. But I’d always heard good things about them, and now seeing them for myself, I get it.

Quiver is a company that started a few years ago as a way to keep pens handy on Rhodia and Moleskine notebooks. They use 100% American Napa leather full grain hides and the leather is worked by craftsmen in Old Mexico.

There are two different types of Quivers, a single and double. The single-pen holder ($37.95) is a wrap that goes around the binding of your journal and holds the pen up against the spine. It has two elastic bands, one that holds onto the front cover, the other that holds onto the back cover. You can put a pen that’s up to about ½” in diameter and virtually any length in it. The nice thing about this particular format is that the pen stays tucked away on the edge, so when you’re carrying it in a backpack or laptop case, it fits nicely next to other flat objects. It also fits better on some of the larger notebooks like the 6”x9” Quo Vadis Habana that stretch the elastic a little more.

Quiver A5 Single-Pen Holder in Mocha on a Rhodia Webnotebook

There are a couple of tradeoffs though. The Quiver on the binding does get in the way a bit when you have the journal on a flat surface. This is most inconvenient when the Quiver is new, as the leather is still stiff and needs to break in. Over time, it will be less obtrusive. It’s not really an issue if you’re going to be carrying the notebook around and using it on your lap. Some of your absolute biggest pens might be a bit of a tight squeeze, too, though honestly if a Jinhao 159 can fit, just about anything can.

You can fit the A5 single holder on the Rhodia Webnotebook, Moleskine, Whitelines, Black n’ Red, anything with a hard cover in an A5 size which is about 8”-9.25” tall. Something with softer covers like the Clairefontaine clothbounds or Apica Premium are a little more precarious and might need a little more careful attention, but they will fit on there.

The Quiver double-pen holder ($26.95) is a whole different setup. It’s a single elastic band that’s made to fit around the front or back cover of your journal. You can position wherever you want, but closer to the binding is more ideal for softer notebook covers, or those of larger size.

This is called the double pen holder, but it’s really a double-small-pen holder. You won’t fit a Jinhao 159 and MB 149 side-by-side, though I have to say I love these two pens paired up next to each other! You can squeeze a couple of Lamy Safari’s next to each other, but I would say that if you’re using fountain pens like me, it’s probably best to just stick to one pen in the double-pen holder. Personal opinion. But the good thing is, you’re gonna fit any pen in here.

I also like that this holder lays really flat with a notebook on a flat surface. This is most often where I end up writing, so for me the flatter-laying double holder works great. You can also put 6 of them on one notebook if you want, and you can have a menagerie of pens to carry with you. And people definitely won’t look at you like you’re a weirdo.

The drawback to the double holder is that when you store it in next to other flat things, the pen on the cover is going to stick out a bit. And if you are storing more than one pen, there will still be a pen in the holder if you’re writing with the other one, so then it won’t lay flat. It also put more pressure on the cover the further out you have it from the binding, which can bend a softer cover, especially if the journal is on the bigger end like the Habana.

Quiver Double-Pen Holder in Tan, on Rhodia Webnotebook

But that’s where the Quiver adapters ($3.50) can help. There are two different sizes of them that can help provide additional support to softer cover notebooks. You just stick it behind your Quiver and it helps keep the cover from bending. These will be critical if you want any chance of using a double-pen Quiver on a flimsy-cover notebook, but honestly, I’d rather just use the single one on the binding in that case.

Quiver Adapter, used to firm up flimsier covers

That’s a quick run-down of the A5 Quiver line. They do have more offerings in their line that I didn’t cover here, but you get a really good idea what they’re all about. For more details and up-to-date specs about Quiver, be sure to check it out on GouletPens.com

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

GouletPens.com will be down today for physical inventory

**Our site's back up! Thanks for being so patient, we went live again after about 8 hours, around 4pm Eastern time. 

We're sorry to say, but GouletPens.com will be completely down and offline today for our quarterly physical inventory and product restructuring due to our Lamy, Pilot, and Monteverde nib changeover we mentioned a few weeks back in this blog post.

We're going to be shutting down the site around 8am Eastern US time, and it will have to remain down until we complete everything, which we're hoping will only take until 2pm Eastern but may end up going until 5pm Eastern. We're sorry that we're not able to leave the non-purchasing aspects of our site up for you to browse while we do all our stuff behind the scenes, but alas, our site doesn't give us this capability and we have to shut it down completely in order to do what we need to do.

All orders placed before we shut down the site will be processed and shipped as usual, but we won't be able to accept any orders by web or by phone until our site goes back up. It'll be all hand on deck for us here while we're counting up every single item in our warehouse, so we won't be able to take phone calls until after we've finished (we can't take phone orders while our site is down anyway).

Thanks so much for being patient. In the meantime, cruise Ink Nouveau here, check out some vids on our YouTube channel, see what we've been up to on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. We'll be back up soon!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Platinum Fountain Pen Lineup

Platinum is one of those brands that just doesn't get the attention we feel it deserves. There are so many cool and unique aspects to the Platinum line, but it is a little confusing. Rachel and I sought to clear up some of this confusion in last week's Goulet Q&A (which was Platinum themed), and it came together so nicely we felt that it was worth breaking out into its own video. So here it is! We included time markers for each pen, so make it easier to reference. Hopefully this will help you understand a little better what Platinum has to offer.

(2:15) Platinum Preppy ~$4
(3:25) Platinum Plaisir ~$22
(4:06) Platinum Balance ~$43
(4:15) Platinum Cool ~$42
(5:43) Platinum Carbon Brush Pen ~$5
(6:13) Platinum Maki-e Brush Pen ~$41
(6:34) Platinum Weasel Hair Brush Pen ~$48
(7:17) Platinum Desk Pen ~$12
(8:24) Platinum 3776 Black Century ~$176
(8:29) Platinum 3776 Bourgogne ~$176
(8:43) Platinum 3776 Chartres Blue ~$176
(11:15) Platinum President ~$220
(12:00) Platinum Modern Maki-e ~$144
(13:10) Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e $192
(14:05) Platinum Galaxy Maki-e ~$756
(14:54) Platinum 3776 Ebonite ~$640
(15:29) Platinum Izumo Urushi ~$960
(16:04) Platinum 3776 King of Tigers ~$800
(16:37) Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi ~$360
(17:34) Platinum 3776 Karakusa ~$960

I'm sure you have questions, and that's totally cool! Ask away in the comments.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Matchup: Platinum Cool & Organics Studio Copper

Are you ready for round #2 of Monday Matchup?

This week, we’ve paired the blue Platinum Cool fountain pen with Organics Studio Copper turquoise ink. Who knew they would make such a fantastic match? Check out the newest couple on the block with some artwork done by our very own Joe O.

Have a happy Monday!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Goulet Q&A Episode 36, Platinum Fountain Pens and Ink

Hey everyone, it's Episode 36 of Goulet Q&A today, and I have a very special guest joining me. My lovely wife, Rachel! I know it's always a special treat when she's able to join me in some videos, so it was great that she was able to wiggle some room in her busy schedule to join me in showcasing Platinum pens and ink. Platinum as a brand is somewhat underrepresented, so we're really excited to be able to shine a little light on this really interesting line of products. In fact, we actually did such a comprehensive overview of the Platinum line in question 1 that we're working on breaking that out into its own video to make it easier to share and reference. Enjoy! 

Here are this week's questions:

1) @ShreddyEddy- Twitter (3:58):I'm considering picking up a Platinum FP in the near future. Would you be able to quickly go over their lineup? Awesome vids!
  • Pretty big range!
  • $4 for Preppy on up to many thousands of $ for Urushi/Maki-e
  • Preppy
  • Plaisir
  • Desk Pen
  • Brush pens
  • Cool/Balance
  • 3776
  • Modern Maki-e/Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e
  • Celluloid/Urushi/Maki-e
  • President
  • other LE Maki-e and Sterling pens

2) J OC- Ink Nouveau (21:50):
I'm thinking about getting a Platinum 3776 as my first nice FP. (I use Safari and Metro now.) Two questions: What nib size would be closest to a Metropolitan F? How smoothly does the 3776 write -- is this going to feel like a big enough step up to justify the cost? FWIW, I mostly take notes intermittently, rather than write full paragraphs or pages.

  • The extra-fine would be closest to a Metro F
  • check out Nib Nook
  • Not super-smooth
  • Platinum’s pens aren’t the smoothest, even the really, really expensive stuff
  • They’re not scratchy, just toothy
  • It’s by design, the nibs are toothy and stiff, that’s just how they do them

3) Bryan- email (25:58):

What is the best way to clean the Platinum highlighter and marker tips? Soaking them in water sometimes seems to ruin them. 

  • soaking is pretty much the way to clean them
  • not sure what exactly you mean by ruined, and how it’s the soaking that’s doing it
  • these tips don’t last forever and don’t clean out that well, which is why they sell replacements

4) Charlie V- email (27:12):
I saw in your newsletter that the ultra-extra-fine nibs are now available in the Chartres Blue and Bourgogne pens, what about the music nibs? Are they coming anytime in these pens? 

  • Music nibs should be coming in these pens later this summer/fall
  • No official dates yet, but we know they’re working on it

5) John D- email (28:18):
I can’t stand all the junk on the Platinum Preppy pen barrel. I’ve gotten some of what appear to be Preppies in my Noodler’s 4.5oz ink bottles, but they don’t have any logo of any kind. Can I get these, or can I remove the logo from my Preppy to look like this?

  • not sure how Noodler’s gets these, must be before they have logos put on
  • removing the logo isn’t easy
  • sanding/polishing
  • rubbing alcohol (danger of damaging pen)

6) Arsenil C.- Facebook (30:54):
Hi Brian! I have a 3776 Century with a Fine nib. And sometimes (rarely) it skips on upward motion and straight horizontal lines. This happenes with Platinum Blue-Black ink, Diamine Damson and Diamine Twilight. Only with Diamine Ancient Copper there was no skipping at all, but it is a pretty lubricated ink as it seems. Is this nib supposed to be so dry? My Lamy Safari extra-fine seems 2-3 times wetter. But i like a thin line that my Century puts on paper. Any recommendations?
  • The pen might be writing a little drier
  • It’s hard to say if your rare amount of skipping is normal or not, sounds like it might be
  • paper could come into play here, too
  • Lamy nibs definitely are wetter
  • stick to inks that don’t skip, unless the skipping is seldom enough it doesn’t bother you
  • Could try diluting inks slightly, though test in small batch first 

7) Richard F.- Facebook (34:56):
I got my 3776 with a Music nib. Do you know if they plan on offering separate nib units so that if you also want to write in fine, for example you don't need to buy a whole new 3776?
  • haven’t heard of any plans of Platinum doing this
  • hasn’t been feasible in previous models, needed special tools to pull the nibs
  • the Century is easier to swap nibs, friction fit

8) Gordon C.- Facebook (36:19):
Hi Brian, I've been wondering since purchasing my first Platinum Preppy pen: are their cartridge inks also available as bottled inks? If so, do you carry that range of inks? More specifically, is there a bottled version of their purple ink? I love Noodler's Purple Heart, but it's a more muted hue, and I also really enjoy the vibrancy of my purple Preppy. [Alternatively, is there a bottled ink from another brand that would work as a close match? PR Plum looks close-ish, based on your Ink Swabs...). Thanks in advance - really enjoying your Q&As!
  • Only bottles inks are Black, Blue-Black, and Red
  • No bottled purple
  • Purple Heart definitely is more muted, by design (to match the Badge of Military Merit from George Washington)
  • Can’t honestly say what the best ink match is, use the Swab Shop which you’ve already done! 

9) Mate F.- Facebook (39:31):
How does the 3776 compare to the Pelikan M200 and Pilot custom 74?
  • Similar price ranges
  • Pelikan m200
    • piston-fill
    • smaller steel nib, but writes well
    • smaller pen overall
  • Custom 74
    • similar in size to 3776
    • smoother nib
    • softer nib
    • larger ink capacity with Con-70 converter
    • fewer nib sizes though, F, M, B only
  • 3776
    • gold nib, but stiff
    • not scratchy, but intentionally toothy nib
    • many nib options, ultra-extra fine, extra fine, fine, soft fine (on black), medium, broad, music (stub) on some
    • slip-n-seal cap (on Century models), won’t dry out
    • exotic materials like celluloid, urushi lacquer, maki-e, 

10) 林理谙- Facebook (42:35):
Can I buy 10-20 preppies at a discount? I guess I'm about the only person to want 10-20 preppies, so it'd probably not sell well, though.
  • Preppy Rainbow Package Set- one of each 7 color, $24.95 instead of $27.65
  • not typical to have quantity discounts on pens
  • email info@gouletpens.com for special requests, we’ll talk it out

11) Eli C.- email (43:53):
Is it normal to see ink in the part where I’m holding my Platinum Preppy? Why is this there?

  • yes, this is normal! 
  • fins in the feed help regulate ink flow with changing writing speeds
  • same as every other pen, you just usually don’t see it! 

12) Kevin L.- Facebook (46:30):
I received a sample of Platinum Ink in Earth Brown recently thanks to the efforts of Caitlin and Katy of Goulet Pens{ they are first cabin all the way!}. What does the no mix designation mean as far as the ink properties go? It writes great in my X450 and has a great color on paper Keep up the great work!!
  • “Mix Free” doesn’t mean “don’t mix”, it means “feel free to mix me”

13) Rebekah H.- email (48:42):
What is so special about Platinum Mix Free

  • 9 colors all designed with identical properties for mixing together for custom colors
  • also has dilution liquid (clear ink) for lightening a given color 

14) Matthew B.- Facebook (50:03):
How does Platinum Carbon Black compare to something like Isaac Newton from organic studio?
  • both pigmented inks
  • PCB is the go-to ink for artists doing any watercolor/ink washing
  • Isaac Newton doesn’t seem to be quite up to par, though we haven’t tested in thoroughly ourselves

15) Ray G.- email (52:13):
I’ve seen something called the Platinum cartridge adapter. What the heck is this? 
  • it allows standard international cartridges to fit on Platinum pens
  • pretty simple and kind of expensive for what it is, but it works and is only available in this specific product

16) Dennis B- email (55:50):
Do you know when (or if) the remaining two lakes of Mt Fuji will be given their own Platinum #3776 Century special editions, like the Motosu, Shoji, and Sai? 
  • It’s been coming out each summer so far
  • just yesterday, Platinum Japan’s website said that this year’s pen will be announced July 20
    • will not be part of the 5, but a new concept
  • not sure what this means for the 4th and 5th, maybe they’ll pick it back up next year

Thanks to everyone who asked such great questions this week, keep them coming! Next week will be an Open Forum again, so go ahead and ask whatever you want in the comments below. Be sure to check out previous Goulet Q&A's if you've missed any of them. Have a great week!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, June 19, 2014

New! Edison Nouveau Premiere in Caribbean Sea (Summer 2014 Edition)

It's that time! The spring flowers have fully bloomed and are closing up, the lawn mowing and weeding has lost just a little bit of its fun, and school has let out. It's time to start thinking summer, which means beach trips!

This summer's seasonal edition Caribbean Sea Premiere makes us think of cool Caribbean waters and light, sandy beaches. We can just picture ourselves lazily journaling away on the beach as we listen to the wind swaying through the palm trees. We're relaxed, calm, and just soaking up the gentle sun as we watch pelicans dive into the water to pick up their late-morning snack. Life is good...then we realize we have two young kids and Caribbean beaches are not even on our radar right now, but it's nice to dream! Ha!

So what is the Seasonal Premiere all about? Check out our other video here that explains what it is and why we do it. Long story short, we have collaborated with Edison Pens to make this pen for the next three months, and after that they will be discontinued for good. This is the third pen we've done like this so far, check out our Winter 2014 Black Ice and our Spring 2014 Cherry Blossom. These pens are both discontinued and no longer in production. We still have a few of each, actually, but once they're gone, they're gone.

The Premiere is available with a stainless steel nib in extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, 1.1mm, and 1.5mm stub nibs. The nibs are smooth with a touch of feedback, much to the liking of many Edison fans! The Premiere is a standard international cartridge/converter pen (converter included) that is also convertible to an eyedropper (see how here). We offer it exclusively at GouletPens.com for $149, starting today!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Katy’s Ink Review: Organics Studio Potassium

Regardless of how poorly I ever did on the tests, Chemistry was always my favorite class. Oddly enough, I loved memorizing chemical symbols and formulas. When Organics Studio ink came to our site, I was definitely interested in grabbing a few samples. Organics Studio Potassium is definitely a fun one that I had at the top of my list to grab. It is a pleasant dusty-purple color. The inks flow is excellent as the color maintains its richness.

Here is what the color reminds me of:
When I was young and my mom and I used to drive home at night, we would try to name all of the colors in the sky. At sunset there would be a whole smattering of oranges and pinks. We would rattle off names like Kraft-Macaroni-and-Cheese Orange and July-Peach-Pie Pink. But right before the sun would descend, that’s when the purples and deep-deep blues would make their grand appearance. While I didn’t name any of the colors Potassium, I can visualize that same nice purple in the sky tucked right behind a fluffy cloud. It is a pretty, rich, and calming color. 

So today, I wanted to show off this ink a little for y’all. The truth is I love to cook and wish I had more time to do it. At every major Campbell event or holiday there is always Grandma Myrtle's Pound Cake. And let me tell you it is good. So I figured why not share one of my favorite recipes while showcasing this new color. So here you go friends. It is a feast for your eyes and potentially your stomach.

I was using a Lamy CP1 with a medium nib for most of the writing examples. Anything with a little extra flair was drawn with a Platinum Carbon Brush Pen. I had never used a brush pen before but really liked it. And everything you see was done on a Rhodia No. 18 notepad with blank paper.

Some other colors that are in the same family include Noodler’s Purple Wampum, Diamine Damson, and J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune. I’ve got some side-by-side comparisons for you to check out which I used Rohrer and Klingner Glass Dip Pen for. And just for fun, I threw in some dry times as well. As a lefty, a faster dry time definitely helps. While Organics Studio Potassium is a slower one, I never found myself smearing it all over the place.

 What do you think of the color? Could you see yourself inking it up in the near future?

 We’ll talk soon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lamy CP1: Quick Look

The Lamy CP1 is a thin, light pen that doesn't get as much fanfare as I feel that it probably should based on the number of people I know that love using this pen. Surprisingly it's one of the most popular pens that new Goulet team members choose as their personal pens (perks to working here!).

It's thin, only slightly larger than a #2 pencil. It's 17g, as light as a Lamy Safari even though it's a metal pen. It has a spring clip and accepts all of the swappable Lamy nibs in extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, 1.1mm, 1.5mm, and 1.9mm stub italic. So if you already have another Lamy pen (except Lamy 2000) you can swap your nibs onto this pen.

With it's straight lines and functional design, the Lamy CP1 is a workhorse pen that many of the Goulet team use as their daily writer. Personally, it's a little thin for me but I definitely see the appeal! A mid-priced pen at $70 list ($56 at GouletPens.com), I'd recommend this as a really good second or third pen. And you can get it in any color you want, as long as it's black! Learn more about it here.

I'd love to hear what you think of the CP1, leave me a comment below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Friday, June 13, 2014

Goulet Q&A Episode 35, Open Forum

It's Friday the 13th! But you're in luck today, I have a nice looong Q&A for ya. It's a Open Forum theme this week so I cover a variety of topics for you. Enjoy!

1) 林理谙- Facebook (4:55):
How to make a pen drier? Another question (sorry if that's too much): cheesecake, or ice cream cake?
  • Making a pen drier is really tough for the untrained individual
  • best to try using drier ink first, Pelikan 4001 ink is notoriously dry
  • may need to call on a nibmeister
  • Hmm…well I just love cake, so either one’s good for me! Probably cheesecake, ice cream cake is good, but only really tastes awesome because I hardly ever get it 

2) Patrick D.- Facebook (8:51)
Have you ever considered a customer loyalty points program? 
  • We have considered it, trying to think of what that would look like
  • would have to align with our company’s values
  • This is a tough one, because I struggle with the what ‘loyalty’ means here
  • Loyalty isn’t bought, it’s earned, a loyalty program in the traditional business sense isn’t really about loyalty, it’s about repeat business
  • Simon Sinek says: "Anyone can sell product by dropping their prices, but it does not breed loyalty.”
  • Loyalty is earned by adding value, such as shooting a video, educating, and engaging with you like I am right now. 
  • What is my loyalty program? This, right now. 

3) Edgar H.- Facebook (13:25):
Hi, Brian! Ink question: Diamine Blue Black or Diamine Twilight, which would you pick? By the colour, I'd like to pick Twilight, but I've heard it's more prone to bleedthrough, is that true? Also, they seems to be pretty similar colours. What do you think?
  • I like Twilight better
  • darker, slightly green
  • not sure about properties side-by-side 

4) Shane H.- Facebook (14:48):
I saw an article online that negatively slammed Noodler's and Private Reserve. The Noodler's stuff was the same BS people always complain about and isn't necessarily true. The Private Reserve stuff I hadn't heard, though. I was able to disprove every claim but one, which is that Private Reserve inks have a molding problem. The insinuation is that the inks mold more easily than any other inks. Have you had any experience with Private Reserve inks molding, or is this another ink urban legend?
  • Pretty much BS
  • some mold happened in the past, but that’s happened with just about everyone
  • ink makers all fight mold like crazy, and will make it right if there’s any there
  • urban legend

5) Flavio A.- Facebook (17:24):
Does the color of the paper influence shading? Will I get less shading from an ivory colored paper than from a white one? Also, do you have any plans on selling oxford notebooks/notepads?
  • it doesn’t necessarily affect the actual amount of shading, but certainly how much it shows
  • paper color can REALLY affect the color of an ink
  • absorbency affects shading more than anything
  • no plans for oxford at the moment

6) Bence N.- Facebook (20:44):
Can I use marker pen ink in my FP?
  • probably not a good idea
  • stick with water-based fountain pen ink, anything else will likely clog or harm a pen 

7) Matt Z.- Facebook (21:59):
Are there any plans to expand the Goulet nib line? Recently I got a hold of a 0.8mm stub, and I really enjoy it. While a 1.1mm stub might put out too much ink for copy quality paper, perhaps a .6 or.8 would be more appropriate.
  • not at the moment
  • Hard to find any stub smaller than 1.1
  • Jowo (maker of Goulet nibs) doesn’t make anything smaller 

8) Bradley G.- Facebook (22:58):I'm looking for loose leaf paper that works well with fountain pens, any suggestions?
  • My fav is HP 32 lb Premium Laser Paper, a little thick/expensive to use around Goulet office
  • We use HP 24lb Laserjet, works great

9) Tristan N.- Facebook (24:42):
When can we expect a duet with you and Rachel?
  • LOTS of musicians around the Goulet shop
  • I sing, have played clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, tenor sax, bari sax, sousaphone, piano, guitar, bass guitar
  • Rachel sings, plays guitar, bass guitar, piano
  • Trevor sings and plays banjo in River City Band
  • Adam majored in music, sings, plays piano, guitar, learning banjo
  • Ben has an album, sings, plays guitar and harmonica
  • Sam sings and plays guitar
  • Jacob sings and plays guitar

10) Ryan G.- Facebook (29:11):
What are some of the "wettest" inks available for those of us who love gushy flow? Noodler's Rome Burnining, Private Reserve's Tanzanite, and Waterman's Serenity Blue are some that come to mind, but I am always looking for more. Also, I love your Q&As! Your answers are always excellent.
  • Noodler's Eel series, Polar, Fast Dry
    De Atramentis, most of them
    many Noodler's and Diamine colors
11) Hugo W.- Facebook (30:30):
Have you ever thought of taking in the pen company Faber Castell? Their pens are one of the best introductory pens with the price of a Lamy Al-Star and Safari and the smoothest steel nib out of any company.
  • recently reached out to them, interested
  • Faber Castell is promising, Graf Von Faber Castell is higher end and not as likely to fit us right now 

12) Kiri H.- Facebook (31:49):
Does Banditapple have any plans for making A5 sized notebooks? Have had excellent experience using their TN size but always find myself wanting more horizontal space.
  • I don’t believe so
  • They have their sizes and while they have prototyped several different sizes, they’re all pretty unconventional 

13) Sarah S.- Facebook (32:31):
I want to start restoring vintage FPs. Do you know of any people who would let me glean knowledge from them?
  • oh boy, not my area of expertise
  • FPN, maybe? couldn’t find a specific ‘repair’ sub forum

14) John B.- Facebook (34:03):
What recommendations might you have for note taking in an environment without tables say at something like a church service or keynote at a conference. balancing a notebook other reference material and now not choking up too far on a pen has been an issue for me for years.
  • bound journal like Webbie or Habana, fold the covers over onto each other
  • don’t know quite what the choking up on a pen issue is
  • anyone else have any ideas?

15) Mike H.- Facebook (36:42):
I use the Clairfontaine 1951 series and I love the look and the paper but the ink takes forever to dry. Is there a good notebook that has just as smooth of paper with a little more absorbent paper?

16) Umi H.- Facebook (37:52):
I've been writing with bulletproof black in a Pilot Metropolitan extra fine (?), which has been alright. A bit scratchy, but I chalked that up to the extremely fine nib. I recently got the 54th massachusetts samplers from you, and was blown away by how much it changed the writing characteristics. The pen felt significantly smoother and laid down a thicker, more consistent line. Is this due to the wetness of the inks? Would I get a better result with the Noodler's Black in a fine nib instead?
  • this is all part of the grand experiment! 
  • so many factors at play here, paper, nib size, feed, ink properties, writing angle, etc
  • definitely some inks cooperate better in some pens than others
  • sometimes you just have to try and find out! 

17) Erin W.- Facebook (40:36):
Hey Brian! I love writing with my Pilot Metropolitan. It's so smooth. I usually have it filled with Noodler's 54th Massachusetts. The only thing is I feel like it writes just a little too wet. This may just be a result of it being a medium nib or the ink that I'm using. But before I break down and shell out for the sweet, sweet fine nib version, is there any way to "customize" or adjust the nib and feed to control the flow of ink? Kinda like with the Noodler's nib creepers? Thanks!
  • no, not really
  • could try diluting the ink a bit
  • seems counter-intuitive that water would ‘dry’ the ink
  • heavily concentrated ink like 54th would have a lot of lubricant in it, making it write wet
  • Adding water cuts down the lubricant
  • test in a small batch 

18) Katie S.- Facebook (42:54):
I've got a cheap indian pen with a very scratchy nib, you can feel a scratchy snag on the nib, does it have to be ground down by someone or can I just use some fine sandpaper or something to smooth out the imperfection?

19) Jennifer Z.- Facebook (44:45):
What's the best way to get started if you want to learn how to make a pen but have no idea where to start?

20) Ahmed K.- Facebook (45:49):
What kind of things can you specify when commissioning JoWo to make nibs? Are you able to suggest how smooth you want it, tolerances, etc? I'm just wondering if all JoWos were created equal or not since a lot of pen manufacturers use nibs made by them.
  • All similar coming from Jowo, as is
  • special things can certainly be done to them after they’re initially made
  • trade secret :) 

21) Matthew P.- Facebook (47:38):
On my twsbi 580 the feed broke and ink bleeds out where your fingers are supposed to go. I believe the only way to fix that is replace it, but coukd i replace that part, the whole.nib/feed construction, or the whole pen?
  • could replace the nib unit
  • contact twsbiinc@gmail.com 

22) Reilly I.- Facebook (49:04):
Do you plan, in the future, to carry pens such as the Pelikan m200, m205, and m215?
  • did that once before
  • not a lot of requests for it, can special order
  • likely won’t carry them regularly for a while 

23) Devon G.- Facebook (50:04):
My Namiki Falcon resin with a fine nib has been a problem child since day one... It's an incredibly hard start, skips a whole lot, and really railroad tracks. I don't think I've sprung the nib and I've cleaned it very well. I've used a whole slew of different inks. I've checked alignment with nib and feed. Nothing works. I want to love this pen. Help!
  • not much I can help to diagnose it here
  • there have been some isolated and unexplainable issues with some Falcons, not many but enough
  • contact your retailer, you will likely need a replacement 

24) Junee L.- Facebook (53:25):
What is the difference in pen materials, resin vs celluloid vs ebonite? Is it all just aesthetically different or is there any other properties that set them apart?
  • resin = acrylic aka plastic
    • durable, attractive, relatively inexpensive
    • several types, injection molded vs. cast
    • cast is nicer, more expensive
  • celluloid, smoother than resin
    • material predates modern resins
    • flammable
    • takes a long time to make, thus is more expensive
    • distinct smell
    • few make it
  • ebonite = hard rubber
    • predates celluloid and resin
    • wicks away hand moisture
    • distinct smell
    • expensive, few makers of it

Next week’s theme will be Platinum pens and ink, so be sure to ask me any questions in the comments below. Be sure to check out any previous Q&A's you missed here. Have a great week!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Don't miss anything! Subscribe to our Weekly Email Newsletter!

Disqus for Goulet Pens Blog