Wishlist

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thursday Things: Beach Bum

A beach themed flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with turquoise and orange colors.

Flip flops, tan lines, and endless summer sunshine are the quintessential ingredients for a perfect beach bum day. Grab your sunglasses and let Thursday Things: Beach Bum transport you to a sandy, sunny patch of paradise. With products like Atlantic Blue ink and a pen called Neptune's Pearl, this arrangement is swimming with marine inspiration and bright beach-worthy hues. Dive in and check out our summer inspired spread.

Featured products from left to right:

Shop all these hot products in the Thursday Things: Beach Bum shopping guide!

A beach themed flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with turquoise and orange colors.
Noodler’s Neponset Fountain Pen - Emeralds on the Sun
A beach themed flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with turquoise and orange colors.
Edison Nouveau Premiere Fountain Pen – Neptune’s Pearl
A beach themed flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with turquoise and orange colors.
Noodler’s Ahab Flex Fountain Pen - Hudson Bay Fathom’s Blue Demonstrator
A beach themed flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with turquoise and orange colors.
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Orange Aluminum
A beach themed flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with turquoise and orange colors.

Which pen would you take with you to write away a day somewhere on a beach?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Namiki Nippon Art Maki-e Fountain Pens


Namiki Nippon Art Maki-e fountain pens combine the complex techniques of the Hira Maki-e technique with traditional Japanese fables and symbolism. The classic design of the fountain pen body is the perfect canvas for the incredible artistic details and the fascinating themes depicted on each pen. This marriage of artistry, symbolism, and functionality creates a writing instrument that is both beautiful and useful.

These fountain pens are created by a collaboration of artisans, collectively referred to as the Kokkokai. Urushi lacquer is applied to the pen bodies, followed by an outline of the designs. Gold and silver powder, among other precious metal powders, is used to fill in the design and create the stunning depictions seen on the pen. Additional layers of urushi lacquer are applied and left to dry. Finally, the pen is expertly polished, resulting in a stunningly detailed work of art.

Each Namiki Nippon Art Maki-e fountain pen comes complete with a 14kt gold nib. The outline of Mt. Fuji can be seen on the nib, as well as the Namiki branding. They are smooth writing nibs, perfect for penning your next novel or simply signing your name.

The Namiki Nippon Art Maki-e fountain pens use a Con-70 filling mechanism. This vacuum filling method allows for a large ink capacity, ideal for long writing sessions. Watch this video where Brian shows you how to expertly fill a Con-70 converter.

At GouletPens.com, we are pleased to be carrying four different types of Nippon Art fountain pens. Each has a different story and symbolic meaning, but all are stunning and functional works of art. 

Namiki Nippon Art Chinese Phoenix
The Chinese Phoenix has held a place of esteem throughout the ages. A symbol of heaven's grace, virtue, and favor, it is seen in countless works of Japanese art. Aptly associated with the element of fire, it can also represent of the union of yin and yang. Like the mythical western phoenix, the Chinese Phoenix is said to be immortal, dying a fiery death and then rising again from the ashes.

The Namiki Nippon Art Maki-e Chinese Phoenix is available at GouletPens.com for $600 with a medium nib. 

Namiki Nippon Art Crane and Turtle
The Crane and Turtle is a Japanese fable. A turtle and two cranes lived at a river bend and were good friends. A drought came to the area and the river dried up. The cranes were able to fly away and find new water, but the turtle was not so lucky. The Cranes offered to fly the turtle away by carrying a stick in their mouths, while the turtle clamped on to the stick. They warned the turtle not to open his mouth, or he would fall. He heartily agreed. In this manner, they took off for a new river bend to make their home. However, as they were flying over a rice paddy, the turtle opened his mouth to greet the laborers and plummeted to his death. The moral of the story? Those who do not listen to their friends suffer the consequences.

The Namiki Nippon Art Crane and Turtle is available at GouletPens.com for $600 in fine and medium nibs.

Namiki Nippon Art Maki-e Dragon with Cumulus
The dragon of good luck in Japan is called Fuku Riu. While Western dragons are often portrayed as fire breathing beasts bent on destruction, Japanese dragons are often seen as benevolent and even lucky creatures. The happy dragon ascending into the clouds represents good luck and abundance.

The Namiki Nippon Art Maki-e Dragon with Cumulus fountain pen is available in fine and medium nib sizes for $600 at GouletPens.com.

Namiki Nippon Art Golden Pheasant
 
The Golden Pheasant is a native bird of China, where it is admired for its beauty. It is a striking animal with feathers of golden red. In Japan, it is often depicted as the ambassador of the sun goddess. Like the phoenix, it is seen as a symbol of male energy and associated with fire and life force. 

The Namiki Nippon Art Golden Pheasant fountain pen is available at GouletPens.com for $600. 

What do you think of the Namiki Nippon Art Maki-e collection? Which one appeals most to you? Leave a comment below and let us know!
 
Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Monday, June 27, 2016

J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen with a Conklin Duragraph Cracked Ice: Monday Matchup #100

Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen.

Hello there, fountain pen lovers! Whitney here, bringing you my Monday Matchup of J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen and a Conklin Duragraph Cracked Ice. I've always wanted to try a Conklin pen and this matchup finally gave me the chance.

I like to find inspiration for my artwork in the names of the pen or ink. So since this ink carries a floral name, I knew I wanted to do a piece related to that theme. I am also fascinated by the old school botanical illustrations so I wanted to replicate that. I figured a Secret Garden quote would be a perfect compliment to that type of drawing.

To start out this project, I grabbed a pencil and lightly sketched marked out my space and planned my design and quote. I don't normally like to use pencil because I hate erasing and the mess it leaves behind. After I got the design just right, I went over it with the pen and ink. I also wrote in the quote. Once I had the design fully outlined, I went over it with a brush pen to fill it in and spread the ink. I let that dry fully and touched up the edges with the pen again to make sure the lines were all crisp.

I liked using this pen and ink, but they are not my personal favorites. I typically write with extra fine nibs because my handwriting is so small. The Fine nib on the Conklin was just not fine enough for me. For most people, however, I think, this nib would be fine. I wanted to branch out and try new things when doing these matchups so it was a fun experience to try out the Conklin. I am not a huge fan of fluorescent bright inks and the color I achieved when I used the brush pen on this ink was especially too bright for my taste. I did appreciate that the Rose Cyclamen did not lift as much as the Dark Lilac ink I used in my last matchup though. It was a little more color fast under water.

I think this pen and ink would be good for any type of writing task. You can't write extremely small with this pen so maybe not good for someone who takes small, detailed notes. But it would be great for journaling, letter writing, note taking in most cases, and any other writing or sketching you have. If I were to do this matchup again, I would try to find a tamer, more toned down ink to use, but it is still a pretty ink.

Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen.
Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen. Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen. Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen.
Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen.
Secret Garden illustration in Rose Cyclamen Pink ink, drawn with a Conklin Duragraph fountain pen.

You can find the Conklin Duragraph Cracked Ice for $44 at GouletPens.com. J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen is available in a 30ml bottle for $11 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.40. 

Want to win this pen and ink? Enter our Monday Matchup giveaway on instagram! See our page for all the details!

Have you ever tried an ink that you ultimately found too bright for your taste?

Write on,
Whitney

Friday, June 24, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 127, 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.

In this episode, I talk about dip testing vs. inking pens, good paper for beginners, and some pretty heavy personal stuff.

This week:
  • had physical inventory on Wed, always important for us here
  • missed Q&A last week
  • Personal stuff
New/Upcoming Products - (7:38)

Pens/Writing - (13:11)

1) Shawn H.- Facebook  - (13:13)
I'm wondering about extra ink around the collar and base of nib. This seems to be the case whether I use cartridges or fill with converter. I wipe and soak it up, and it doesn't seem to go away. Am I pulling ink away from my cartridge or the converter??
  • This isn't uncommon, especially when just filling a pen
  • you can take a paper towel to wick away after a fresh filling
  • it may come back, depending on the design of the pen, and if so, then you are just pulling ink from the cartridge/converter
  • if it's wicking for more than a few seconds, then it's soaking up the ink from the reservoir
  • inside the grip is a system of fins to regulate the ink flow
  • ink may come all the way to the nib, but shouldn't drip out
  • this is really only an issue when you have a tight grip towards the nib, and get ink on your fingers
  • some pens/ink combos will do this more than others

2) Kristian T.- Facebook - (17:12)
I sprang my Oma's Arte Italiana with an extra flessibile nib I adjusted it but inflow still sucks should I heat set the feed I don't know how to do that plus is there a difference in methodology for ebonite feeds vs plastic ones -mine has an ebonite feed Omas went out off business so I can't send it in for repairs what should I do is it possible to restore it to its out of this world out of the box performance or is it going to forever remain a FP cautionary tale?
  • this is really easy to do, as Omas had some of the softest flex nibs around
  • if you've sprung it, it can be fixed, but it's tough to do on your own especially if it's sprung badly
  • the softer the nib, the more challenging to work on it
  • while Omas isn't there to service it anymore, you can get it repaired by a nibmeister
  • John Mottishaw was Omas's repair point of contact in the US before they shut down, he's who I'd point you to
  • other nibmeisters could certainly repair this for you though
  • definitely go easy with this pen though!

3) thorn_upsb- Instagram - (21:01)
I recently visited a pen store near me to test some pens that I'm considering to buy: The Waterman Carène, Lamy 2K and Pilot VP. As the store can't sell a pen that's already been inked, they only dipped the nibs into the ink. My question is: Is the performance of a dipped nib representative of it's performance when inked up normally? I had some major skipping issues with the Carène, which didn't happen with the 2K and the VP. 
  • In general, it's not the truest representation of how the pen will flow, it really shows best how the nib feels
  • it's better with nibs that have larger and more exposed feeds, which really none of these 3 have
  • the Carène especially I could see not working ideally, because there really isn't much there to soak up the ink on a dip test, I think it'd do better when actually inked
  • I have a Carene and it writes wonderfully, but of course that's just one pen
  • the L2k and VP are pretty darn popular writers, for good reason

4) thequotemaster23- Instagram - (24:53)
What is the benefit of using an oblique nib holder vs. a normal italic nib when doing calligraphy? 
  • it's all about helping with hand fatigue
  • calligraphy is traditionally slanted, and the more elaborate it is, the more time consuming 
  • the oblique angle helps to write in a more natural position while still getting that slant

Paper - (28:56)

5) brentperusual- Instagram - (29:02) 
As a big fan of Field Notes I've accepted that only certain editions of theirs are truly fountain pen friendly. Are there any notebooks of similar size that have fountain pen friendly paper, as a Field Notes alternative? (Doesn't have to be exact same design)

6) boo_boo26- Instagram - (33:22)
What paper do you think is best for beginners?
  • there is a lot to consider with paper, and most of it is completely foreign with new fountain pen users
  • I personally think Rhodia is the best introduction, because it's amazingly consistent, performs well, and is all around a fantastic feel
  • No. 16 Rhodia pad is great, pretty affordable, and versatile
  • I'm a huge fan of the dot, but lined is really good too for an introduction
  • Leuchtturm A5 is perfect for anyone coming over from Moleskines or other journal formats
  • I love Clairefontaine Triomphe for stationery, it's plain but writes like a dream

Personal - (38:21)

7) xsmatchet- Instagram - (38:22)
Every day at work I write a quote/thought of the day and share it with my coworkers. My favourite quote is a song lyric: "it's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice". What are some of your and your team's favourite quotes?
  • I love quotes personally, and find them inspiring
  • I do a "morning motivation" on most days on Snapchat
  • I keep a running list of my favorite quotes in a spreadsheet and rotate a different one each day for my leadership team with 226 on there now
  • "You can do anything, but you can't do everything." David Allen (Author of Getting Things Done)
  • "Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." Theodore Roosevelt (Former US President)
  • "If it isn't a clear yes, it's a clear no." Greg McKeown (Author of Essentialism)
  • "If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough." Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President of Liberia, first elected female head of state in Africa and Nobel Prize winner)
  • "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas Edison (inventor)
  • “Experience gives the test first and the lesson later. ” Unknown
  • "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want." Zig Ziglar (motivational speaker)

QOTW: What's a major setback you've had to overcome in your life? - (45:07)

Thanks so much for joining me this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Diamine Oxford Blue: Ink Review

Diamine Oxford Blue ink splatter with a Lamy fountain pen.

Hey there, ink lovers! Madigan here, reviewing a brand new addition to the Diamine line, Diamine Oxford Blue. As an ink addict, I'm always intrigued when companies come out with new inks. Diamine has been especially innovative in the past couple of years with their line of Anniversary inks, followed up by the Shimmertastic collection. So when Diamine Oxford Blue was announced, I couldn't wait to get my pen inked up. I instantly fell in inky love. Diamine Oxford Blue is a classy, dark, and sophisticated blue with enough saturation to make it incredibly beautiful. On top of all that goodness, it has some red sheen! Read on to discover all the ins and outs of my new favorite blue ink.

Diamine Oxford Blue ink review, detailing smear time, water proof test, and saturation.
Diamine Oxford Blue writing test on Moleskine Notebook paper and Tomoé River Paper.
Close up of Diamine Oxford Blue writing on Tomoé River Paper.


Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):
  • Medium- This ink was dry in 20+ seconds, making it an average ink. It would be good for every day writing, but will not be ideal for lefties or for lighting fast page turning.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):
  • Low-This ink blurs quickly when water hits it. I can see it being gorgeous in ink washes, but if you are looking for your writing to stick around for awhile, look elsewhere.

Saturation:
  • Medium-While this is a dark hued ink, you can certainly see a difference between the first and second swabs. The second and third look the same, however.

Ease of Cleaning:
  • Easy-Since this ink has no water proof qualities and has low water resistance, it is easy to clean out of your pen!

Shading:
  • Medium-While I'm generally a sucker for shading, I liked that this ink had a bit of shading, but not so much as to be distracting.

Flow:
  • Medium- Fantastic flow! It flowed smoothly from the pen with no hard starts or gushes. In terms of flow, this would be a great every day writer. 

Packaging and Aesthetics:







Summary:
This is truly a singular ink, and is my new favorite blue! It's somewhere in between royal blue and navy, making it a beautiful and classic hue that will go with just about anything. The saturation coupled with the slight amount of shading make it incredibly pleasing to look at. It looks fantastic on both white and cream paper. It's work appropriate while being pretty enough to make you look forward to filling your fountain pen. It's well behaved with great flow- perfect for long writing sessions.

You can find Diamine Oxford Blue at GouletPens.com in an 80ml bottle for $14.95 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.

Do you like your blue ink deep and dark or light and bright?

Write on,
Madigan



Thursday Things: Silver Lining

A sterling silver themed flat lay arrangement of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

Polish up your writing skills with this perfectly pristine medley of stunning silver fountain pens and accessories. This week's Thursday Things was inspired by the striking silver fountain pens that have recently been added to our collection of fine writing instruments. The Visconti Watermark and Pilot Sterling fountain pens possess a sparkle like no other. The featured assortment of silver products accentuates and highlights the beauty of these dazzling designs.  

Featured products from left to right:
The Thursday Things: Silver Lining shopping guide features all these products on one page for your shopping convenience. 
A sterling silver themed flat lay arrangement of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Jinhao x750 Fountain Pen in Silver
A sterling silver themed flat lay arrangement of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Goulet #6 Steel Nibs in Silver
A sterling silver themed flat lay arrangement of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Visconti Watermark Fountain Pen
A sterling silver themed flat lay arrangement of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen – Silver
A sterling silver themed flat lay arrangement of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen  – Silver Aluminum
A sterling silver themed flat lay arrangement of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Pilot Sterling Fountain Pen - Dragon
A sterling silver themed flat lay arrangement of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.



Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Now Offering FedEx at Goulet Pens!


Ever since we started our business in our home just over six years ago, we've only offered USPS (United States Postal Service) as our shipping carrier. It's been reliable, but as rates have increased in recent years, especially for our international friends, we felt it was time to explore alternatives.

We're pleased to announce effective today we are now offering FedEx as a second option for shipping. We'll continue to offer USPS, and FedEx now helps us offer even more options. Here's a rundown...

FedEx Domestic Options:

For all three of these rates, the price will increase based on the overall weight of your order and where it's going (the further from Va. and the heavier it is, the more expensive it will be).
  • FedEx Ground
    • Packages will arrive in 1-5 business days, depending on how close you are to us here in Virginia. Hawaii and Alaska may be closer to 5-7 business days.
    • These orders ship within our normal one-two business days like all our other USPS orders. 
    • Full tracking is included, and starts around $8-9 in price.
  • FedEx 2 Day
    • An expedited shipping option for when you need guaranteed quick delivery, though not as expensive as overnight. 
    • If you place your order by 10am Eastern Time (Monday-Friday), we'll ship it same day (or the next business day if it's the weekend), and it will arrive to you within two business days (Monday-Friday) by 4:30pm your time. 
    • Full tracking is included, and starts around $12 in price.
  • FedEx Standard Overnight
    • Our most expedited shipping option for when you need guaranteed speedy delivery. 
    • If you place your order by 10am Eastern Time (Monday-Friday), we'll ship it same day (or the next business day if it's the weekend), and it will arrive to you on the next business day (Monday-Friday) by 3pm your time. 
    • Full tracking is included, and starts around $15-$30 in price.

FedEx International Options:

For these rates, the price will increase based on the overall weight of your order and where it's going. Unlike USPS, the package will be delivered directly to your doorstep, with a potential customs bill to follow within a few weeks of delivery. A signature will be required for delivery.
  • FedEx International Economy
    • If you place your order by 10am Eastern Time (Monday-Friday), we'll ship it same day (or the next business day if it's the weekend), and it will arrive to you within two to five business days (Monday-Friday). 
    • Full tracking is included.
    • For most locations, it starts around $21-30 in price, with some regions a bit more than that. Our friends in Canada will see rates on the low end of this scale, and can expect delivery within two business days of shipping!
  • FedEx International Priority
    • Our most expedited shipping option. 
    • If you place your order by 10am Eastern Time (Monday-Friday), we'll ship it same day (or the next business day if it's the weekend), and it will arrive to you within one to two business days (Monday-Friday). 
    • Full tracking is included.
    • For most locations, it starts around $23-35 in price, with some regions a bit more than that. Our friends in Canada will see rates on the low end of this scale, and can expect delivery within one business day of shipping! Seriously amazing.

USPS Will Still Be Offered

We will continue to offer USPS services alongside these FedEx offerings.

Within the US, you'll still be able to choose from:
  • USPS First-Class Mail
    • Low ~$3-5 charge for orders under one pound and less than $500
    • Typically arrives in 1-5 business days 
  • USPS Priority Mail
    • Flat $6.95-8.95 depending on location
    • FREE for APO addresses (thank you to our military servicemen and women!)
    • Typically arrives in 1-3 business days 
  • USPS Priority Mail with Signature Confirmation
    • Flat $9-11 depending on location
    • Same as regular Priority Mail but requires a signature to accept the package. 
For US orders over $500, we will require that you either select the USPS Priority Mail with signature confirmation, or one of the three FedEx methods. These methods are all a bit more secure for delivery, so we'll feel better knowing that your expensive order will get to you safely.

For our international folks, you'll still have the options of:
  • USPS First-Class International Mail
    • Available for orders under $300 and weighing less than 4 pounds
    • No tracking is available
    • While the most economical, it can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks for delivery 
  • USPS Priority International Mail
    • Available for orders up to $300 in value
    • Limited tracking, takes 1-3 weeks for delivery
  • USPS Express International Mail
    • Available for all orders
    • Full tracking, usually arrives within 1 week depending on customs clearance.
For international orders over $300, we require that you either select the USPS Express International Mail option, or one of the FedEx methods. These methods have full tracking so we'll feel more secure knowing that your order will get to you quickly and safely.


One final note - if you're looking to have orders shipped via FedEx, we encourage you to sign up for FedEx Delivery Manager. It's a free service that allows you greater control and visibility over your orders (not just from us, but for any vendor shipping to you via FedEx). You can communicate special needs for delivery (such change the delivery address, hold for pickup, provide delivery instructions) through the tool.

Clear as mud? Still have questions? Let us know in the comments below or send us an email. We are happy to help!

Write On,
Rachel Goulet

Edison Nouveau Premiere Neptune's Pearl Summer 2016 SE Fountain Pen


Edison Nouveau Premiere Summer 2016 Neptune's Pearl

Who doesn't dream of enjoying the summer near the water? Can't you just feel yourself soaking up the sunshine as the waves lap against the shore? Writing with the latest Edison Nouveau Premiere fountain pen will bring all those feelings of sheer bliss washing back over you every time you write. We're excited to introduce Neptune's Pearl, the 11th seasonal edition of this GouletPens.com exclusive collection!

Enveloped in swirls of ocean blue and a pearly blue-grey, this slightly translucent resin pen will inspire you to churn out a hurricane of handwritten notes. This pen includes a standard international converter, and when used as an eyedropper, you can watch the sea of ink swirl in your pen as you are writing.

Edison Nouveau Premiere Summer 2016 Neptune's Pearl

These pens are available in EF through 1.5mm nibs. Edison describes the steel nibs on their fantastic pens as "smooth with a hint of feedback," or, as Brian points out while discussing them here, they are "not scratchy in any way, but just smooth with a little touch of resistance". The Edison nibs are made by Jowo, the same company that makes our Goulet nibs. These nibs can be swapped out for any of the #6 steel Edison replacement nibs available for $25 on GouletPens.com. 18k Gold nib options are also available for $150. Check out our video on swapping Edison nibs to see a detailed tutorial on this change.

Nib Nook Writing Samples- Edison Nouveau Premiere

Looking for some great inks to make your perfect storm of writing complete? Check out our suggestions below!

Diamine Blue Pearl
Diamine Blue Pearl
De Atramentis Myrrh
De Atramentis Myrrh
Noodler's Heart of Darkness
Noodler's Heart of Darkness
Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo
Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo

Diamine Twilight
Diamine Twilight
The Summer 2016 Edison Nouveau Premiere Neptune's Pearl is available now at GouletPens.com for $149. You can find all the details and technical specs listed on our website. These pens are only available for a limited time, so once they're gone, they're gone for good.

Edison Nouveau Premiere summer 2016 Neptune's Pearl

Will you be adding Neptune's Pearl to your coveted collection of writing gems?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team 

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