Monday, February 29, 2016

2016 Special Edition Lamy Safari Dark Lilac!

We were so excited to recently get our hands on the 2016 Special Edition Lamy Safari Dark Lilac! We've been hoping for sometime now that Lamy would come out with a purple Safari and they've exceeded our expectations with this 2016 Special Edition. It's matte purple with a black nib and a matching black clip. We'll have them available with extra-fine, fine and medium nibs, as well as a rollerball version. Remember you can always purchase Lamy replacemement nibs separately in a range of other sizes to change up your writing experience!

The Lamy Safari is a great first fountain pen. It's reliable and durable making it a great choice to use as your go-to everyday carry. Brian did a Quick Look on the Safari which you can find below.

We expect the Dark Lilac fountain pen, rollerball, bottled ink and matching cartridges to arrive in mid April. Be sure to visit our website to sign up for our email notification list and our newsletter so we can let you know when it arrives. We're already thinking of all the ink we want to pair with it. Stay tuned for more on that!

Wondering how it compares to the Purple Lamy Al-Star? Check this out:

So, what do you think of the Dark Lilac Safari?! Will you be adding one to your collection?

Write on, 
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin with a Platinum Maki-e Brush Pen - Fuji Mountain and Blossoms: Monday Matchup #84

Hello Monday Matchup fans! Jenni here, writing to you about my latest match up, Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin with a Platinum Maki-e Brush Pen in Fuji Mountain and Blossoms. Confession: I've recently become a little obsessed with brush pens. I've discovered a few Instagram accounts with gorgeous writing and they have inspired me to sign up for an online brush lettering course. Don't worry- fountain pens still hold a very special place in my heart, but a person can have more than one type of pen to hold and love, right?

I picked this particular brush pen because of the gorgeous design. Clearly it was created with a lot of care. I've been on the lookout for a new favorite orange ink but had never used a Pelikan Edelstein ink before. I thought that the color matched the lighter colors on the pen perfectly. However, while brainstorming the idea for the piece, the beauty of the design on the pen kept distracting me. I just kept imaging mountains and wildflowers! I found the quote and thought that the flowers in the quote would resonate with the flowers on the pen. I got super excited and started to draw and write.

I knew that the foundations of the piece were going to be the girl's eye and the flowers. I used a pencil to draw her face, her eye and the flowers on her headdress. I knew I wanted to create sweeping movement in her hair to show her dancing and have the writing spelled out in the locks of hair. Filling the brush pen with ink, I started to create the hair. Quickly I realized that the ink was super saturated and I couldn't get any color variation. I was also struggling to get different line widths. I have a bit of a heavy hand (I have the damaged nibs to prove it!) and was laying down a ton of ink. I stopped before I made an even bigger mess and reassessed the situation.

I removed the ink from the brush pen and filled it with water instead. I added a drop or two of ink to the mixture, and was able to get a lot more color variation that way. However, I wasn't getting the super dark or light hues that I wanted. Eventually, I took an ink syringe and squirted ink on the page to get my desired effect. Using the brush pen, I swept the ink out to get highly saturated thick lines.

I like a lot of things about this pen. The brush tip is really nice. It stays at a point and doesn't splay across the page. A lot of brush pens I've written with don't keep their form so you can't get a clean edge on the line. This pen didn't have that problem. I do wish the tip was a bit thinner because I would have been able to get more variation in my lines.

Orange is my favorite color and this ink had a lot of great color variation, so I loved working with it. If you are looking for a great shading ink, this is a good alternative to Noodler's Apache Sunset. At least when writing with a brush pen.

If I were to do this again, I would redo the piece. I'm not super happy with how it turned out. I quickly realized that working with a brush pen is much different than a fountain pen. You even have to hold it differently! I would adjust my pressure and take more time to be conscious of the line width I was making. You have to treat the pen delicately to get the thin lines, something I wish I knew before starting the piece. All in all, this was a fantastic learning experience. I'll definitely try this pen again once I get more brush pen experience.

I'd recommend this match to other brush lettering artists. Like I said, the tip of the brush is really great. It's not going to be an everyday writer, but if you are creating artistic letters it's a great refillable option.

You can find the Platinum Maki-e Brush Pen - Fuji Mountain at Gouletpens.com for $40. Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin is available in 50ml bottles for $27.80 or 2ml ink samples for $2.50. Give them a shot! You won't be disappointed.

Have you ever used a pen that you enjoyed even though you weren't getting the exact results you wanted?

Write on,

Friday, February 26, 2016

Lamy Green Safari: Top 5 Ink Suggestions

The Lamy Safari Green is fun, bright, and audacious. It was the 2012 Special Edition Safari and went by the name of Apple Green back then. They released it again this year, and I'm excited to see it part of the regular Safari line up! Lamy pens are known to be work horses, great for everyday use. They are many people's everyday carry because of their durability and reliability. They make great pens for students and professionals alike.

The Green Safari has all these wonderful qualities and comes in nib sizes Extra-Fine, Fine, and Medium. Keep in mind that all Lamy Safari nibs are swappable, meaning you can get different writing experiences and line widths with just one pen. Just one more reason Lamy pens are so great!

This Safari stands out to me because of the intensity of this green. When I buy a new pen (or even when I'm thinking about it!) I always think through what inks it would work best with. Sometimes, I like to find the perfect matching ink for the pen, but other times I want to do something contrasting to play off the color. With that in mind, I'm giving you my top 5 ink suggestions to go with your new Green Safari!

1) Diamine Apple Glory
Diamine Apple Glory is my first choice for this pen. Not only was the original 2012 Limited Edition of this pen called Apple Green, this ink actually matches it really well. It's wet, juicy, and vibrant. Ideal for any green writing you might want to do! It's available at Gouletpens.com in 2ml ink sample for $1.25, a 30ml plastic bottle for $7.50, or a 80ml glass bottle for $14.95.

2) Noodler's Gruene Cactus
Bright, cheerful, and fun, Noodler's Guene Cactus Green is another great matching option. Not quite as spirited as the Apple Glory above, it still has great matching potential. There is even an Eel version (Noodler's line of lubricated inks) if that's your thing. You can find it in a 3oz bottle for $12.50 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.

3) Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-rin
Sarah used this in a Monday Matchup back in May of last year, and it's still one of my favorite green inks. It has truly satisfying shading, going from a yellow green to a much darker shade. It's a great, more subtle, option to pair with your new Green Safari. Find it in a 50ml bottle for $28 or a 2ml ink sample for $2.50.

4) Aurora Blue
If you are looking to pair your new Safari with an every day blue, you can't beat Aurora Blue. It's a classic ink, perfect for every day writing and appropriate in most any setting. Don't believe me? Read Margaret's fabulous ink review. Available in a 45ml ink bottle for $18 or a 2ml sample for $1.50.

5) Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Budo
This is the my contrasting suggestion! I think it'd be beautiful in the ink window and is on the opposite side of the color spectrum from the pen. It also has some sheen to it and even made it onto Brian's Top Sheening inks list. This ink comes in a gorgeous 50ml bottle for $28 or a 2ml ink sample for $2.50.

Are you getting the new Lamy Safari Green? What ink would you pair it with?

Write on,

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thursday Things: Heavy Metal

It’s brass and copper’s time to shine! The rugged materials make these pens ideal for an everyday carry, as they gradually take on a unique patina as you use the pen over time. The weight of the metals also make these some of the heaviest pens we carry (the Karas Kustoms Copper Ink weighing in at 118g), making these pens both durable and dependable. Find our favorites below.

Featured products from left to right:

Find the complete collection in our shopping guide here. 

Field Notes Notebooks – Mixed paper
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen – Copper
Karas Kustoms Fountain K Fountain Pen – Brass
Montegrappa Fortuna Fountain Pen – Copper Mule
Kaweco Brass Sport Fountain Pen – Raw Brass
Montegrappa Fortuna – Copper Mule mug

Do you enjoy writing with heavy pens?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Goulet Pens Exclusive: The Delta Unica in Matte Black!

Looking for a stealthy pen under $100 that can go with you from home to the office? The Delta Unica in Matte Black is just that! Made in Italy of solid Italian resin, this fountain pen is accented with sleek gunmetal colored trim. The matte material will shine up with time and use, but you can take a little micro mesh to rough it back up, being careful to avoid the trim.

The Delta Unica in matte black.
At $76, this is Delta's most affordable fountain pen! It comes with both a cartridge and a converter, and the first 200 pens will be individually numbered. More will be continue to be made without the number, meaning the first 200 are unique and limited. The Unica has a rather slim profile, making it easy to carry with you in your shirt pocket, brief case or bag. It's quite light, weighing a total of 21 grams, about the weight of a Lamy Al-Star.

The #6 size nib is stealthed out too, available in fine or medium.
The nib on the Delta Unica is made of brushed dark steel. Available with a fine or medium #6 nib,  you can switch out your nib for a #6 Goulet nib if you're interested in something other than fine or medium. Just remember, the warranty will be voided if you choose to go this route!

This pen is going to be fantastic for someone who likes a wet writing pen as the flow is pretty generous. You'll feel some resistance when writing with the Unica, but you shouldn't find it scratchy. It's going to be well balanced both posted and unposted, and the grip is comfortable, although somewhat short.

Writing samples for the fine and medium Delta Unica.
 Love the total stealth look!
You can find the Delta Unica Matte Black available exclusively at Gouletpens.com for $76. We expect the 200 numbered pens to move pretty quickly (and no, we cannot honor special requests for numbers), but we'll be restocking more in the next month or so. We also have the Unica available in fuscia and blue and you can find more information on all of the technical specs on our website.

What do you think of the Matte Black? Will you be adding one to your collection?

Write on, 

The Goulet Pen Company Team

Introducing Goulet Black Nibs!

For a long time we've been asked, and now we're finally able to deliver Goulet #6 size black nibs! These are the exact same high-quality Jowo-brand German nibs you've seen in our polished steel and two-tone colors, but now with a slick black oxide finish to stealth out any pen that'll take a #6 nib.

They're available in a full range of sizes, including:

These nibs are smooth with a hint of feedback, and have a medium to generous flow. They have a stellar reputation, just check out the ratings and reviews that have been left on our site. 

One thing worth noting is that the process Jowo uses to blacken these nibs does create some variability in the true blackness of the nibs. Some are showing more of a dark gunmetal and some are fully black. We're going back-and-forth with them about this and they're going to see what they can do to improve the consistency. The difference is subtle, and we wanted to be clear about it in the efforts of full disclosure. 

Now keep in mind, when you're swapping any nib onto another brand's pen (which you're doing with these nibs in all cases), the manufacturer of that pen won't cover these nibs in their warranty. Just recognize, this is a hack and you're going rogue here. But sometimes with great risk, comes great reward. :) 

Here's a list of what pens our Goulet nibs fit:

  • Most pens with a #6 size nib
  • Noodler’s Ahab
  • Jinhao 159, X450, X750
  • Monteverde (all on our site but the Artista Crystal, and Poquito)
  • Edison (all on our site but the Pearlette)
  • Conklin Duragraph and All-American 
  • Delta Unica and Serena
  • TWSBI Vac-700
  • Karas Kustoms INK
  • Many other pens we don’t carry regularly

  • Goulet #6 nibs are available exclusively at GouletPens.com for $15 each, or in a package set of each nib size for $80. We're so excited to be able to offer them to you!

    Write On,
    Team Goulet

    Tuesday, February 23, 2016

    The 7 Biggest Fountain Pen Mistakes

    We're all human, and we all make mistakes. Having learned from the error of our own ways and from the vast amount of feedback and experiences we hear from customers, we've compiled a list of the biggest mistakes we see made with fountain pens. Hopefully, now that you know them, you can avoid the disastrous results... 

    7) Carrying Your Fountain Pen in Your Pocket With Your Keys
    Did you just purchase a shiny new metal fountain pen? Throwing it in your pocket and letting it bounce around as you go about your business will inevitably damage the finish on the pen. This is especially true of Lamy Al-Stars and the Black Matte Pilot Vanishing Point. If you're going for that rough and tumble look or purchased a pen specifically designed for that purpose (think Kaweco Raw or Karas Kustoms), no big deal. If you were intending to keep it scratch-free, probably not great. Either avoid the pen in the pocket routine or get a pen slip to avoid the scratches all together.

    6) Using Calligraphy Ink in Your Fountain Pen
    Not all ink is the same! It might be tempting to grab that pretty ink you found at the craft store for cheap and use it in you fountain pen, but don't do it! If you want to keep your fountain pen in tip top shape, do not use ink meant for dip pens or calligraphy. That includes India Ink, Lawyer's Ink, and anything specifically meant for dip pens. Most calligraphy inks are shellac-based which must be cleaned by denatured alcohol (which may damage your pen). Furthermore, these inks contain ingredients that will clog or even damage your pens by corroding some of the internal mechanisms. Stick to inks that are specifically designed for fountain pens and you should be fine.

    5) Writing With Too Much Pressure
    One of the benefits of using a fountain pen as opposed to a rollerball or gel pen, is that fountain pens operate through capillary action instead of pressure. You only need to lightly touch your nib to the page to get a lovely line of ink. New users are especially prone to pressing too hard with their pens, causing the nibs to splay resulting in irreparable damage. If you are using a steel nibbed pen, you'll probably be fine. But if you are jamming a gold nib down on the page... yikes! Lighten up on your grip and you'll not only have a more pleasurable writing experience, you'll also be taking better care of your pen.

    4) Not Cleaning Your Fountain Pen
    Cleaning your pen can seem like a chore, but trust us, it's totally worth it. Hard starts, skipping issues, and a myriad of other pen complaints can be solved by simply using a little water or pen flush. If you are habitually swapping your ink, this is especially important since you can accidentally concoct a new inky recipe of unhappy chemicals right there in your pen. There are number of ways to make this chore less onerous like using a bulb syringe. Watch Brian's Fountain Pen 101 Video on pen maintenance to learn how or refresh yourself on the pen cleaning process. Remember- when in doubt, clean it out!

    3) Cleaning Your Fountain Pen With Rubbing Alcohol or Acetone
    Don't do it. Pretty please?? While you may think this is a good idea to get your pen spic and span or remove some ink residue, rubbing alcohol contains acetone which will literally eat plastic. We've seen some pens damaged, and others completely melted, by leaving a plastic pen in rubbing alcohol overnight. If you have a really persistent ink stain, try some pen flush first. If that doesn't work, some very diluted bleach should do the trick. Keep the rubbing alcohol in the medicine cabinet where it belongs!

    2) Dropping Your Fountain Pen Nib Down
    Oh the horror!!! This is so heartbreaking to hear about. If you're lucky, the pen you've dropped has an easily replaceable nib, like some Lamys, Monteverdes, TWSBIs, Edisons, or Noodler's. Some other brands have proprietary nibs which are not sold through retailers. Or at all in some cases! We carry a number of replacement nibs and will do our best to help you find a solution to this problem if it comes up. It does break our hearts a little every time we see it...

    1) Not Using Your Fountain Pen
    These babies were made to be written with! Unfortunately, we sometimes hear about people throwing them in a drawer and forgetting about them. Maybe we're biased since we use fountain pens day in and day out, but there are so many ways to put them to use. Here are some tips if you're looking for a little inspiration:
    • Bullet Journaling 
    • Urban Sketching 
    • Calligraphy or Flex Writing
    • Writing Affirmations
    • Poetry
    • Thank-you notes
    • Daily Journaling
    • To-do lists
    • Writing letters
    So if you've neglected your pen, break it out and get to writing again!

    What's your biggest fountain pen mistake?

    Write on,
    The Goulet Pen Company Team

    Monday, February 22, 2016

    Kaweco Classic Sport Blue Medium with Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Cartridges: Monday Matchup #83

    Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Fountain Pen Ink
    Happy Monday fountain pen friends! Jenni here with a new matchup for you. I recently reviewed Faber-Castell Cobalt Blue and loved it, so when we added Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green to our collection at Goulet Pens, I knew I wanted to give it a go. I paired the Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green cartridges with a Kaweco Classic Sport Blue with a medium nib and got to work. The name of this ink obviously got me thinking about the sea. My favorite part about the ocean is how much is unknown about it, at least to most of us. Because much of the ocean is still undiscovered, I decided to create a magical and imaginary scene of the ocean floor. I found a fitting quote about the wilderness of the ocean, and started to imagine what I might find under the ocean waves.

    After sketching out my design in pencil, I took a brush pen and filled it with water. I then added a few drops of ink and created some of the light areas you see on the paper first. It appeared pretty light, so I dipped q-tips in the ink and then saturated it with water to get varying levels of ink hues on the paper. I created the coral reef scene and once it was done, I picked up the Kaweco and began adding details to my drawing. I had to go over everything a few times to get the color I was looking for. It still wasn't popping off the page enough for me, so I took a q-tip and added more ink to the areas where you see the darkest color. I finished up with the quote at the top of the page, and then added the waves above it. If I were going to do this over again, I would have started out by writing the quote first. By the time I had finished, I didn't leave myself enough room to create bigger waves at the top of the page. I think having larger waves would have helped the scene become a little more recognizable.

    I really enjoyed working with this pen and ink, but I wasn't a fan of them together. The medium nib was smooth, but with this particular ink in the pen, the Kaweco skipped and was a bit dry. It wasn't scratchy, but it took some time to get it writing. I loved the ink because of the color variety you can get with it. It was challenging to get a deep shade of it on the paper, but layering it worked fine.

    I also tried using the Maruman A4 imagination notepad for the first time and really enjoyed it! The paper buckled just a bit, but overall it held up to all of the water I was using. I layered the ink many times and it really took it well. The only thing that I wasn't crazy about were the title and date lines on each page, but I sketched over them so it wasn't a deal breaker.

    I think this pen and ink match would work well for personal journaling or for making to-do or shopping lists. It dried pretty quickly (I only smeared it once while sketching!) so you shouldn't have trouble using it on the go. The petite size of the Kaweco makes it ideal to carry with you in your purse or backpack.

    Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Fountain Pen Ink
    Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Fountain Pen Ink
    Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Fountain Pen Ink
    Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Fountain Pen Ink
    Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Fountain Pen Ink
    Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Fountain Pen Ink
    Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Fountain Pen Ink
    Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Fountain Pen Ink
    Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Fountain Pen Ink
    Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Fountain Pen Ink
    Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Fountain Pen Ink
    Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green Fountain Pen Ink

    You can find the Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green cartridges at Gouletpens.com for $3.50, a 75ml bottle for $30, as well as a 2ml sample available for $1.50. The Kaweco Classic Sport Blue is available for $25.

    Do you have a pen and ink that you love, but not as a matchup?

    Write on, 

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

    Disqus for Goulet Pens Blog