Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top 7 Power Pens

What's a power pen? It's a pen that makes a statement. These are big, heavy, eye-catching pens.

Brian picked out his favorite power pens and offered a quick explanation for each. Here they are (in random order):

  • Monteverde Regatta Sport - Rose Gold (Limited Edition)
  • Monteverde Invincia Deluxe - Chrome
  • Sheaffer 300 - Brushed Chrome with Gold Trim
  • Conklin All American - Tortoiseshell
  • Edison Beaumont - Bedrock Flake
  • Pilot Vanishing Point - Raden  (Water Surface with Rhodium Trim)
  • Jinhao 159

  • Monteverde Regatta Sport - Rose Gold (Limited Edition)
    Monteverde Invincia Deluxe - Chrome

    Sheaffer 300 Brushed Chrome with Gold Trim
    Conklin All American

    Edison Beaumont - Bedrock Flake

    Pilot Vanishing Point - Raden Water Surface with Rhodium Trim

    Jinhao 159 - Black
    Write On,
    The Goulet Pen Company Team

    Monday, March 30, 2015

    Monday Matchup #41: Noodler's Ahab Flex - Truk Lagoon with Super5 Atlantic

    Mermaids have long surfaced in writings ranging from Greek mythology -- where sirens tempt and taunt weary sailors with deadly ditties -- to Jimmy Buffet lyrics, where they splash around in fish bowl margaritas.

    Mermaids always served as fresh fodder for tired seafarers' tall tails, but did you know that mermaid sightings are still reported today? Yes, today, in 2015. We're not talking about spotting "The Little Mermaid" in a roadside Redbox or Animal Planet's fake mermaid documentaries; sightings in Israel and Zimbabwe have been called in over the past decade. Sure, it sounds fishy, but one sighting we're not skeptical about is the drawing Jenni from our Media team created with a Noodler's Ahab Flex - Truk Lagoon and Super5 Atlantic ink (in part, inspired by this image).

    What better pen to bring these mystical, misunderstood creatures to life on paper than the Noodler's Ahab - Flex Truk Lagoon? This popular fountain pen featuring a steel flexible #6  nib draws attention for its eye-catching curiosities. For starters, you can take apart, tweak and adjust, and reassemble the Ahab so that it writes to your liking. Also, The Super5 Atlantic makes a splash with a full range of waterproof blues and grays.

    Unlike the literary Ahab, this one can help you find your Moby Dick or your long sought-after mermaid, if you are so inspired.

    The Noodler's Ahab Flex - Truk Lagoon is available on GouletPens.com for $20. Super5 Atlantic ink is available in a 50ml bottle for $27.95, as well as an 2ml ink sample for $2.

    Write on,
    The Goulet Pen Company Team

    Saturday, March 28, 2015

    Head's Up: Price Increases on April 1

    As time goes on, manufacturing and shipping costs go up, and there comes a point in time when distributors/importers can no longer absorb these increases and must pass them on to the retailer and thus to the customer. Fortunately these increases for Diamine and Monteverde we're about to announce are fairly modest, but we recognize they're still increases which are never fun (for any of us!). We're giving you a head's up in case you want to take advantage of the lower prices for the next few days.

    Effective April 1, here are some new retail prices you'll see at GouletPens.com:


    80ml Bottled Inks: $14.95 (originally $12.95)

    40ml Anniversary Bottled Inks: $15.95 (originally $15.00)
    Anniversary Inks Set of 8: $115.00 (originally $108.00)

    Music & Flower Sets: $99.00 (originally $89.00)

    30ml Registrar's Ink: $16.95 (originally $15.50)
    100ml Registrar's Ink: $33.95 (originally $29.75)

    30ml Bottled Inks: $7.50 (originally $6.95) -- coming soon to Goulet!
    Ink Cartridges: $8.50 (originally $7.95) -- coming soon to Goulet!
    Our 2ml samples will remain $1.25 each for all of the standard colors, and $1.75 for the Registrar's.


    Intima Fountain Pen: $56.00 (originally $52.00)

    Prima Fountain Pen: $60.00 (originally $56.00)

    Invincia Deluxe Fountain Pen: $99.00 (originally $108.00) -- a price decrease! We've gone ahead and implemented this new price as of this blog post. ;)

    All other Monteverde pens and inks will remain the same price.

    That's all for now! Enjoy your weekend.

    Write On,
    Rachel Goulet

    Friday, March 27, 2015

    Goulet Q&A Episode 72, Open Forum

    Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.

    This week we broke Instagram records, introduced our Edison Nouveau Premiere seasonal edition, and are preparing to launch a ton of new products. I'll be answering questions on Omas pens, ink cartridges, and notebooks for lefties. It's a rainy day here at Goulet HQ, perfect for curling up with a cup of tea and to spend some time relaxing with me. Get cozy...

    Product Updates- (1:04)

    Pens/Writing- (5:20)

    1) Kerry Adams @smadayrrek-Twitter - (5:24)

    What's the best way to get non FP users into the way of life without overwhelming them with all the options? 
    • let them trying your pens! 
    • Don’t worry them with info about cleaning/filling, etc
    • just get them to experience the benefits (smooth writing, fun ink colors) first
    • show them FP101 videos

    2) davekorbiger- YouTube - (7:54)
    Hi Brian what's the best way to store spare nibs?
    • ink sample vials in small plastic baggie or something soft to protect it in the bottom
    • earring/ring box
    • other options?

    3) Peaches O.- Facebook - (10:09)
    Will there be more Omas offered at Goulet? Thoughts on the Omas 360 Mezzo?
    • we’re open to it, sure, but we’re pacing ourselves
    • launched with Ogiva Alba LE, all gone now
    • many Omas pens aren’t available but for a couple of months
    • I still need to investigate what’s available ongoing to see if we’d carry anything ‘regularly'

    4) Lisa G.- Facebook - (13:06)
    Which pens are best for lefties, are there lefty specific pens or nibs? I see some kids pens like pelikano jr sold in LH version but rarely regular pens sold this way. Reason to ask is that as a righty I don't know what to look at for my lefty son.
    • I’m with ya! I’m a righty and don’t know from personal experience what makes some pens better for lefties than others
    • (my understanding) lefty pens are ground to be smoother on the ‘push’ stroke, though I hear mixed things from lefties about whether this really makes a difference
    • Lefty underwriters have it easiest, can write with most anything
    • overwriters have it toughest, may want to consider retraining your hand position (I know, that’s not easy)
    • Teach your son to write as an underwriter, and give him a smooth-writing medium nib, pretty much any brand (Lamy is good)

    Ink - (18:33)

    5) Jonathan B.- Facebook - (18:38)

    There are some who will not use Noodler's inks in pens above a certain price. What are your thoughts on this? Do you have a price threshold for Noodler's inks?
    • use your personal judgment here
    • Noodler’s inks vary a lot in property from one to another, so read reviews of each specific ink
    • many generalize the whole brand as being ‘unsafe’, falsely
    • For me, it’s not so much about the price, but more about how easily the pen comes apart, for certain inks (and not just Noodler’s)
    • I save the more stubborn inks for pens that are easy to clean and take apart
    • no, I don’t have a price threshold

    Business - (22:54)

    6) Aditya S.- Facebook - (23:00)

    For Edison production line, is there any chance that you will ever offer seasonal editions? I really like the materials chosen for the ENP seasonal editions but it's just too thin for extended use and I would love to see something in the other pens such as the Collier or the Herald.
    • We’ve talked with Brian Gray about this, and I think he might be open to it
    • We have been staying pretty busy as it is with seasonal Premieres
    • I could definitely see doing the Collier, I’ll ask!

    7) Bianca M.- Facebook - (25:00)
    I miss the "themed" Q&As, a week about paper, a week about flex nibs, a week about bound notebooks and so on. I can understand why you moved away from brands as weekly topics...but do you have any plans to bring back themes?
    • I don’t know if I see doing whole themed Q&A’s again, unless I did a composite of older Q&A questions
    • It’s a big gamble to claim a theme without knowing what questions will come in

    8) Pavel V.- Facebook - (27:21) 
    What cartridge has the largest ink capacity? I mean which company does make the cartridges with largest ink capacity... I need a load of ink and cartridges are safe variant for me.

    Paper - (29:39)

    9) Landon G.- Facebook - (29:43)

    Hey Brian, love what you do! I'm left handed, and am having trouble finding a good notebook with paper that isn't super ink resistant but also not super absorbent. I suffer from ink smearing as you'd guess, but like 90 g cotton paper. Is there an alternative?

    Troubleshooting - (32:05)

    10) Ty W.- Facebook - (32:10)

    What makes J.Herbin write great in my Sheaffer 100, but Private Preserve skips a lot? More broadly, what makes one ink company different from another in terms of how they write?
    • sometimes different inks perform differently in some pens, hard to know why
    • Herbin is less saturated
    • The saturation matters a lot
    • make sure your pen is cleaned out between inkings
    • paper could make a difference, as well as nib size

    11) Po L.- Facebook - (36:22)
    If I inked up a large capacity pen, which means I will not use up the ink in a short period, do I still need to clean my pen regularly?

    • it's never a bad idea
    • clean out at least once a month, even if using the same ink
    • clean out every time you change ink colors
    • when ink sits in a pen for a longtime, the water can evaporate and a more concentrated ink is left, which flows harder
    • use your judgement, if it's still writing well, then you're okay
    • if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    QOTW: What are your thoughts on ink cartridges? Love em? Hate em? - (41:15)

    Write On,
    The Goulet Pen Company Team

    Thursday, March 26, 2015

    How To DIY Wedding Invitations

    DIY Wedding Invitations

    Madigan here, one of the Community Coordinators at Goulet Pens. If you’ve been following our company you might know that in the past year, five team members have gotten engaged, including me. For those of you counting, that is 1/6 of our company!  This had led to a lot of wedding talk around the lunch table and the requisite DIY vs. purchasing discussions.

    For me, DIYing my invitations was a no-brainer. Not only is it less expensive, but it makes the invitations a reflection of my fiancé, Shane, and I. I fell in love with flex pens and ink my very first week of working here and I really wanted to incorporate that enthusiasm into the necessary wedding correspondence.  Additionally, I love the idea of using my handwriting to invite my guests… call me sentimental but handwriting is such a personal and unique expression of who we are as people. It seemed entirely fitting to use it for this very personal life event.

    Handwriting makes it more personal!

    Through a few ink spills, a lot of letter practicing, and a couple of failed attempts, I've come up with what I think will be a very doable and satisfying way to bring a personal touch (literally!) to wedding invitations. My wedding will be pretty casual but these techniques can translate into any number of formal or informal invitations and don’t only apply to weddings. In fact, Jeremy from our Customer Care team is using one of these techniques for his daughter’s birthday invitations!

    So while reading through the rest of the blog keep in mind that these are just suggested techniques. You can incorporate one or all of them into your invites. You’ll be creating the ink washes, using your flex pen techniques, and bringing your own unique perspective to your event. Experiment and have fun!

    Bring a completely unique perspective to your wedding invitations!

    For most weddings, there are four types of letters that are involved
    • Save the Date (post card)- sent out a few months before to let your guest know the date
    • Invitation- the most essential and information filled item 
    • RSVP (post card)- for guest responses
    • Thank you- to thank them for coming and for the sweet swag they donated to you and your partner


    • Rhodia Dot Pad for practicing your writing- $9
    • Flex Fountain Pen (I used a Noodler’s Konrad)- $20
    • Bottles of ink  (color of your choice, I used J. Herbin Diablo Menthe and Gris Nuage)- $9 to $30 depending on your ink choice
    • Watercolor Paper (cut to size)- $15
    • Paint Brushes (small but nice ones)- $5
    • Water and cup- free!


    Pick an ink that matches your wedding colors

    First, you have to pick your colors; then you have to find the perfect shade to match your vision. The awesome part about using fountain pen ink is that you have hundreds of shades to choose from. We've got some great comparison tools on our website to make it easy to find that perfect shade. Word of the wise when choosing your ink- make sure it isn’t water resistant. You want an ink that will spread on the paper when additional water is applied.

    Check out the Swab Shop to find your perfect color. Keep in mind that you will be adding additional water to the ink, so it could change the potency of the hue. If you are torn between two (or several!) colors, you can always order Ink Samples to do tests before purchasing the full bottle. I do suggest eventually purchasing a full bottle as I went through a lot of ink in the experimentation phase. :)

    Practice, practice, practice!

    The second stage in planning is writing practice. Maybe your writing is already amazing, in which case, congratulations! You can skip this step. If it isn't, do not despair. Like most things in life, practice makes perfect! To make your very own "calligraphy" or just get a little line variation grab one of our Noodler's Konrads, Ahabs, or Nib Creapers (you can use several other brands of pen, but for the writing experience and price, Noodler's pens are tough to beat). Fill it with your black ink of choice (I used Noodler's X-Feather because it's a rich black and has anti-feathering properties). A Rhodia No. 18 Dot Pad is great for this because you can try different size fonts and have a large page space to practice on.

    Pick the trickiest letters to practice first

    You are going to write your names A LOT, so get these down first.  If you have a crazy long name like me, pick out the letters you think will be problematic and practice those first. I picked the capital letters of each of our names along with a couple of other more difficult lower case letters.  Pick out the major words on all of your correspondence and do this for all of them.

    Don't be afraid to take your time

    Some tips for flex writing:
    • Go slow! Find a quiet time you can concentrate on forming your letters
    • Press lightly on the up strokes and apply pressure on the down strokes. This will flex the tines and give you a broader line
    • Make sure your hand position allows for flexing. Pressing straight down will give you the widest line
    • In my experience, if you are writing for awhile you will eventually get some railroading. It’s not a big deal, just go back and fill it in afterwards
    • If you want more of a calligraphy look, go over the down strokes again for even thicker lines
    • If your pen is being fussy, check out this video on Heat-Setting

    Apply pressure on the down stroke, don't worry about railroading- just fill it in after
    For naturally thicker lines, go over the down strokes again

    You’ll be doing four different correspondence pieces so make sure to practice all of them. The invitation will be the most difficult (since it has the most writing), so choose your wording wisely. A practical wedding has a great blog on Wedding Invitation Wording.  Now on to the fun part…

    Design Ideas

    Ink wash techniques

    Since I did four different items in the wedding correspondence set, I’m going to show you four different ways of using ink to make a whimsical and gorgeous design. As you can see above, I did several different versions and I’d advise you to as well. You are going to want the most beautiful ink wash along with your most beautiful handwriting as the prototype for your invitation.  This could take a few tries so don’t get discouraged!

    One- Ink Wash

    The first method (and arguably the easiest) is to do a one-color ink wash. I used this for the Save the Date. You will need your watercolor paper cut to postcard size, the ink of your choice, two paintbrushes and a cup of water.

    Take the bigger paintbrush and spread a light coating of water on the paper. You can make whatever shape you’d like (mine was a rectangle-ish). Dip your second paint brush into the ink and then lightly tap it to the already wet paper. It will spread out beautifully. Once you’ve gotten it to the color you’d like spread it around on the page using the ink paintbrush. Set it aside and repeat the process until you have a comfortable amount. 

    1.Brush with water   2.Tap page with ink   3.Brush with ink   4.Let Dry

    Two-Color Ink Wash

    For the second method, I did a two-color ink wash. This is a little trickier and you need help from a friend (or your fiancé!). I did these on slightly smaller paper since it would appear on the front side of a Thank You card. Grab your paper, two different inks, three paint brushes, and a cup of water.

    Just like in the first ink wash method, you are going to use your bigger paintbrush to lay out a light layer of water on top of the page. You and your friend each take a paint brush and starting at opposite ends of the paper, gently dab your color. Keep going until you have about a centimeter of space in between the two shades. Gently pick up card and tilt it side to side to subtly combine the ink colors. Set it aside to dry and repeat.

    1.Brush lightly with water   2.Tap with color on opposite sides    3.Leave a centimeter between colors    4.Tilt to swirl
    Doing this with a friend makes it more fun!

    Gradient Method

    For the invitations, I wanted something that gave the color impression but didn’t interfere with reading the information. After a few trials, I was able to make a really beautiful gradient. You’ll want your paper cut to size, two paintbrushes, your ink of choice, and a cup of water.

    This time, start with the smaller paintbrush and apply it directly to the paper. Don’t go as far up the page as you’d think- you are going to use the water to spread the ink. Once you’ve gotten the ink down, take the larger paintbrush dip it in water and spread it in one direction. Go back and forth spreading the color up the page as far as you'd like. Set aside to dry and repeat the process.

    1.Brush ink directly onto paper   2.Go up the page as far as desired   3.Brush water over the ink in one direction  4.Continue past where the ink stops

    The final method is simply using two colors with the gradient method shown above. You’ll need your paper cut to size, four paintbrushes, and some water in the cup.

    On opposite sides of the paper apply the ink directly in a thin line. Go over the ink with separate paintbrushes in opposite directions. Set aside and allow to dry while repeating the process.

    1. Paint ink directly on the paper on opposite sides   2.In one direction, go over the ink is opposite directions
    Those are the four ink wash methods I came up with. I’m sure there are a thousand of other ways to use these techniques and come up with some really beautiful stuff. I’d love to see your experiments!

    Remember when you practiced all your writing? Now it’s time to apply it to the page! The final step in producing your Wedding Correspondence Set is to write your words onto the beautiful ink washes you’ve completed. Since you’ve practiced your writing, and made a few different ink washes, you will definitely make at least one you love.

    It was all worth it

    If you are really ambitious you could make an individual invitation for all your guests. I chose to get mine printed. A Practical Wedding has an awesome blog walking you through the different printing methods so give that a look.

    Thanks for reading and be sure to leave your questions and comments below! I'd love to hear from you. :)

    Write on,

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    Edison Nouveau Premiere Lilac Spring 2015 SE Fountain Pen

    Spring has officially begun and the flowers will soon be blossoming, which means it's time to announce our color choice for the Spring 2015 Edison Nouveau Premiere fountain pen! This season's color is Lilac, a pearlescent soft purple with white swirls.

    The $149 seasonal Premiere is a special pen that we produce exclusively with Edison Pen Co. for a 3-month period, and once that period ends we discontinue the color. Lilac will be available from now through (approximately) June 2015. This is the 6th seasonal Premiere we've done since we began. We love it because we get to pick more adventurous colors than we'd typically be inclined with a pen that is perhaps more universally appealing. 

    Special Features:
    • Translucent cast-resin material, shows ink level (especially in eyedropper mode)
    • EF, F, M, B, 1.1, 1.5 stainless steel polished nibs
    • Nibs are interchangeable and additional ones are sold individually
    • Standard international cartridge/converter filling (converter included)
    • Eyedropper convertible for increased ink capacity

    Inks that match the Lilac:

    The Lilac is a beautiful addition to our Edison Nouveau Premiere lineup, and we're pleased to offer it to you exclusively at GouletPens.com for $149 for the next three months. Check out more specific details and specs on our site, and feel free to ask questions and leave comments below. 

    Write On,
    Team Goulet

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