Friday, July 29, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 131, 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 custom fitting paper into your Filofax, using an ultrasonic cleaner, and who could stand up to me in a fountain pen trivia battle!

This week:
  • Jenni will be out next week, will have a shorter Q&A
  • DC pen show

New/Upcoming Products - (4:25)

Pens/Writing - (7:44)

1) eclectidbits- Instagram - (7:50)  
What do you do when you have a penvelope filled with inked pens but you're bored and want to try something else?
  • use up whatever's low, then replace that ink
  • dump the ink back in the bottle (if you're cool with that)
  • clean the pens
  • just use more pens, screw it! Ink them all!
  • get a new case! fill it more! jk

2) evanrog- Instagram - (10:20)
Hello! I am a college student and I often find myself using not so ideal paper. I find that finer nibs work better on this sort of paper but I am a sucker for super smooth nibs. What pens have you found to be a good balance between fine and smooth? Big fan by the way.

Ink - (15:40)

3) ilovechubbyunicorns- Instagram - (15:42)
I've just got a question about the J Herbin 1670 inks, I've got a bottle of the sparkling inks from Diamine but the sparkles are quite difficult to clean out of my pens, thus I only use them in my lamy vista/safari. Are the 1670 inks easier to clean out or more on par with the sparkling inks?
  • Drew was actually just commenting on this to me, that the Shimmertastic sparkles are a little tougher to clean than 1670
  • It's usually ideal to keep unusual/troublesome inks more dedicated to pens, especially ones easier to clean
  • cartridge/converter pens are ideal, especially if the nib unit can be removed

Paper - (19:22)

4) @daveburrowsuk- Twitter - (19:25)
Could you use Rhodia No 16 A5 Dot pad and some how hole punch and put into the new Filofax A5 Notebooks you have?
  • Filofax makes A5 hole punches! You can totally do it
  • It doesn't fit the personal size though, just A5
  • two grades of hole punch, the portable will be the way to go for most folks
  • Rhodia you'd have to tear out each sheet, it might be easier to use the wire bound 
  • you can use whatever paper you like, though! (Tomoé anyone?)

5) darth_nibbous- Instagram - (25:19)
Are notebooks, Quo Vadis Habana for example, best stored vertically or horizontally, long-term?
  • Library of Congress has a whole page on how to properly store books (here)
  • They say to store upright on a bookshelf, straight and not leaning (like mine!), and there should be enough space to fit an envelope easily between each book
  • it's also appropriate to store lying down, with the biggest (not thickest) books on the bottom, up to about 12" high
  • if storing in a cardboard box, make sure it's acid-free and lignin free and new condition
  • some plastic containers are okay (polyester, polypropylene, and polyethylene), better for protecting against pests like bookworms and silverfish
  • store in cool, dry place, 4" off the floor and away from walls

Personal - (29:32)

6) Ewing N.- Facebook - (29:36)
What does Brian recommend as good things to wear for an epic pen show like the DC Pen Show - whether for fashion, practicality, or general nerdiness?
  • the fishing vest is the quintessential pen show-goer's enthusiast attire
  • lots of pockets are the name of the game
  • don't underestimate the practicality of the fanny pack!
  • there's usually a good assortment of denim shirts there
  • trenchcoats aren't unheard of, but not really common at DC in August
  • I will have my Goulet shirt on, some others may too, since we sell them now
  • other than that, it'll be pretty normal attire, it's not like a comic convention or anything!

7) matthewamoser- Instagram - (32:49)
Who would win in a fountain pen trivia duel between Brian, S.B.R.E. Brown, and Matt Armstrong (of the Pen Habit)?
  • that is a really tough question! 
  • Matt would probably know deep details and technical specs of a lot of different pens
  • Dr Brown would probably school us both on Visconti and a lot of the more inexpensive pens available more overseas
  • It's hard for me to say where my expertise would shine, but I could likely out talk the both of them! Though we all do pretty long videos...
  • long story short, I think it'd be a tough call, and I respect the heck out of both of them and wouldn't want to go toe-to-toe with either of them! 

Troubleshooting - (36:16)

8) dsmallc-Instagram - (36:20)
Could you give some tips for the use of an ultrasonic cleaner? I know to get things as clean as possible before going in there, but which parts do I give the ultrasonic treatment to and more importantly, which do NOT go in there?
  • I have one, don't use it much at all
  • it really works best for pens that are really crusted up with old ink
  • it's generally fairly safe for pens, I'm not aware of any big no-no's
  • clear demonstrators sometimes are tough, because the ink can work it's way up into places it normally wouldn't go otherwise (like inside the grip of the Pilot Custom 74)
  • I might be weary about using it on vintage pens with complex mechanisms (like the Sheaffer Snorkel) or MB Boheme, maybe even the Vanishing Point body just because it would get water into everything

9) feedbetweenthetines- Instagram - (42:41)
I have a lamy studio palladium 14k pen, and everytime I ink it up, a few hours later there are a bunch of black spots and almost bumps on the grip. It looks like the ink has gathered on the grip from evaporation from the nib, and could possibly ruin the palladium if left inked for days in a row. I'm very disappointed with this from such an expensive pen. Is this normal?
  • This isn't super uncommon, especially this time of year with the heat
  • is it really ruining your palladium? That's a pretty corrosive resistant material and should be able to hold up
  • palladium is sometimes used for nib coatings or for the entire nib (Visconti) so it'll hold up to ink
  • the matte finish on this pen is probably making it stain a little more, but it should clean up with some dish soap or pen flush
  • as for the ink splatter, trying to carry it nib-up as much as you can, keep it out of extreme heat, limit rapid movements with it if you can

QOTW: What was the first thing that you remember being a big hurdle you had to get over when just starting out with fountain pens? - (48:51)

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, July 28, 2016

Thursday Things: Honey Bee

A honey bee inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with amber and orange colors.

This Thursday Things collection is as sweet as honey with its assortment of gloriously golden hued products. Bask in the glow of these vibrant yellow pens, flawlessly complemented by coordinating inks and notebooks. Thursday Things: Honey Bee brings together a great group of products that remind us of sunny summer days spent watching honey bees buzzing from flower to flower, collecting pollen on their fuzzy little bodies. Drink in the flaxen sweetness of Thursday Things: Honey Bee. 

Featured products from left to right:
Collect your own honey hued writing tools with the Thursday Things: Honey Bee shopping guide
A Noodler's Bumblebee flex pen in a honey bee inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with amber and orange colors.
Noodler’s Ahab Fountain Pen - Bumblebee
A Noodler's Konrad Apache Tortoise flex pen in a honey bee inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with amber and orange colors.
Noodler’s Konrad Fountain Pen in Apache Tortoise
A Noodler's Nib Creaper Carniolan Honey flex pen in a honey bee inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with amber and orange colors.
Noodler’s Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Carniolan Honey
Mustard Yellow Apica notebooks in a honey bee inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with amber and orange colors.
Apica CD-11 Notebook – Mustard, Lined
A Noodler's Ahab Baltic Amber flex pen in a honey bee inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with amber and orange colors.
Noodler’s Ahab Fountain Pen - Baltic Amber
Which pen and ink combo gets your sweet creativity flowing like honey?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

How to Turn Your Filofax into a Bullet Journal

Hey guys! Madigan, here. As a productivity junkie, I was super excited when we started carrying Filofax Organizers. Late last fall, I transitioned from a simple To-do list system, to bullet journaling in my Leuchtturm1917 Notebook. I'm totally in love with the system and have seen how insanely effective it is in my work and personal life. At this point, I'm not sure I could live without it! I certainly wouldn't be able to accomplish nearly as much. 

That being said, I have had some frustrations with my bullet journal- the inability to rearrange pages or remove things that are no longer needed. I've also found the monthly and long term yearly planning doesn't quite work for me. I also work on a lot of longer term projects and need a large space to brainstorm and outline.

I picked up a Filofax Organizer with the intent to try out that system. However, since I was already used to running my day-to-day schedule in the bullet journal format, transitioning to a different style has proven problematic. Plus, to be totally honest, some of the Filofax paper doesn't work well with fountain pens. I needed dot grid paper that fit in a Filofax and was fountain pen friendly... the Goulet Notebooks with Tomoé River paper to the rescue! 

I've put together a hack to help you create your own fountain pen friendly Filofax Bullet Journal! It's insanely easy and takes under 20 minutes to do. You'll need the following supplies:

Step 1: Remove the Staples from the Notebook

First you want to gently remove the staples from your Goulet Notebook. Luckily they are incredibly easy to take out- you don't even need a stapler remover. Pry the staples up and the paper should easily slip out from the cover. 

Step 2: Mark your area to hole punch.

Take a sheet of paper that comes in your Filofax Organizer. Line it up even with the notebook paper and using a pencil, draw a circle to outline where the holes should go. 

Step 3: Punch holes in your paper

Pull out four sheets at a time (this will give you 8 sheets to hole punch through). Take your single hole punch, line it up with the circles you drew, and punch through the paper.

Step 4: Hole punch the rest of the paper

Take your four sheets of hole punched paper and put the next four sheets inside. Using this "template" draw circles for your hole punch. Continue to do this until all of the pages of the notebook are hole punched. 

Step 5: Cut the paper
If you want to write on both sides of the page and have the ability to move pages around, you'll want to cut your paper in half. I used scissors, but you could also use a paper cutter for faster cuts.

Step 6: Put your notebook in your Filofax

Now that you have your hole-punched loose leaf Tomoé River paper, slip it into your notebook. Voilà! You just made a fountain pen friendly, dot grid equipped Filofax bullet journal! Customize at will.

Optional Upgrade: Use the Notebook cover!

After I was done creating my Filofax bullet journal, I started writing on it and quickly realized that if you are writing on the back side of the page it gets tricky. The pockets of the Filofax and pen loop make for a difficult writing surface. Since I had the cover of the Goulet Notebook just sitting there, I decided to use it as a barrier. I cut it in half, hole punched it, and decorated it with a bit of Washi tape. This isn't a must, but I think it added a nice personal touch.

You can find Filofax Organizers in A5 size at varying price ranges and types at GouletPens.com. Goulet Notebooks are available in dot grid, blank, graph, and lined pages for $9. 

If you want to turn your personal size Filofax into a bullet journal, I suggest using a Traveler's Notebook size Goulet Notebook. You'll have to cut a few inches off the top of the notebook to make it fit, but the paper width is about the same. 

What do you think? Will you be using your Filofax as a bullet journal? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Write on,

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Introducing the Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pens

We're always on the lookout for compelling new fountain pens here at GouletPens.com. Last August when Will Hodges reached out to me about a Kickstarter project with a new pen company he founded called Tactile Turn, I was interested to see how it would pan out. Being that he was fully dedicated to fulfilling his Kickstarter, I said if he ever got to the point where he'd be at the production level to sell his pens through retailers (like me), to reach out. Well, a couple of months ago he did, and I'm excited to say that we're going to be starting to offer a curated selection of his pens at our store!

Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pens

Will started Tactile Turn in 2012, with a passion for precision machining and writing. An avid fan of the Lamy 2000 himself, he designed his pens using the same extremely durable material called Makrolon. Makrolon is a durable polycarbonate plastic that is reinforced with fiberglass. It's very light and very tough. He also works in several metals, such as brass, copper, titanium, damascus steel, and even zirconium.

We're going to begin offering the Polycarbonate (Makrolon) and Copper Tactile Turn Gists at Goulet. What's compelling about these two materials is that the Polycarbonate is very light and very stealthy, and the copper is heavy and will patina nicely as it's used.

Tacticle Turn Gist Polycarbonate fountain pen
Tactile Turn Gist Black Polycarbonate

Tactile Turn Gist Copper Fountain Pen
Tactile Turn Gist Copper

So what's up with the name? Tactile Turn...well, it has to do with the way the outside of the pen feels. The pen is engraved with a shallow groove that spirals around the whole length of the pen. It gives a very, for lack of a different term, tactile feel. It's quite unique, and somewhat polarizing. Around the Goulet office it give some members of our team the heebie-jeebies, and others just can't put it down. It's difficult to describe, but it feels almost as if you're rubbing your fingers down the teeth of a zipper. It gives kind of a tickling sensation on your fingertips.

The Gist is designed to be a daily carry pen, and made to be clipped onto jeans pockets. The robust clip is sturdy and will even keep the heavy copper pen tightly in place. The cap unscrews and pushes to post, and it has a great balance whether you post the pen or not.

One of the things I really like about the Gist is the grip. it has a texture to it so it feels really secure in my hand, and it's long enough to accommodate my long fingered grip. Even though my thumb touches on the threads, the threads are actually tapered so they don't bother me at all.

Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen

The nib on the Gist is made by Bock in Germany, and is #6 size so you get a big, attractive nib on this pen. Available in extra-fine, fine, medium, broad (which we're opting not to carry) and 1.1mm stub, you get a good range of choices. Being German nibs, they do write a bit on the broad end of the spectrum, and they are all wet writing and quite smooth.

It is a standard international cartridge/converter pen, and comes included with a clear converter. This is a slightly shorter converter than the typical ones you see on other pens. Because of the length of the body of the pen, this is the one that fits it. It's not my absolute favorite, but it gets the job done and is cheap to replace (it's identical to the Monteverde Clear converter). It also takes standard international short and long cartridges.

Pricing is pretty appealing on these pens, too. At $99 for the Polycarbonate and $139 for the Copper, I can get on board. And this is fully machined, American-made, with German nibs. I think that Will's done a great job creating a unique and appealing pen, and I'm excited to be able to share his pens with you today.

Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pens

You can find more detailed information and pictures at GouletPens.com, and pick up your own Tactile Turn Gist. Being that it's a new pen, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! 

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake with a Pilot Parallel 2.4mm: Monday Matchup #103

Drawing of a Steve Jobs quote with Iroshizuku Yu-Yake and Pilot Parallel 2.4mm pen.
Hi there, fountain pen friends! Madigan here, bringing you the latest Monday Matchup. This time, I matched a Pilot Parallel Orange 2.4mm fountain pen with Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake ink. I chose this match because, while I haven't played around with the Pilot Parallel fountain pens, I've been intrigued by the incredible work I've seen others doing on Instagram. I knew that they are a little bit tricky, so I chose one with a smaller nib because I figured it'd be easier to handle. I hadn't tried Yu-yake before either, so I wanted to give it a go. It matched the cap on the pen perfectly, too!

The inspiration for this piece came from a commencement speech Steve Jobs gave at Stanford back in 2005. I recently took an online storytelling class where we were assigned this speech to watch as an example of exemplary storytelling. There are so many parts of this speech that I love, but the "Stay hungry. Stay foolish." line really stuck with me. It's easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget to stay focused, inspired, and joyful.

To get started with this piece, I inked up the pen and played around with it. Since I'd never used a nib this wide before, it was tricky to get a knack for how to write with it. I found that drawing a little bit of a line at first and then going into writing with it was a the best way to form letters. I also realized that it was better to write each letter by shape, and not all at once. I tried a few different types of paper as well- I started on Rhodia and then tried writing on watercolor paper. I realized immediately that it was much more difficult to write on the thicker watercolor paper. The nib dragged across the page and skipped. I decided to the smoothest paper I know of, Tomoé River, to much better results.

Eventually, I wrote out the quote in a way I liked but it seemed incredibly serious, written out like that. I wanted to lighten it up a little, while still staying true to what it was saying. The ink reminded me of an orange Dreamsicle, so I decided to put the quote in that shape. Once it was complete, I added in wood texture to the popsicle stick, and drew light shapes for texture on the popsicle itself. There was still a lot of white space on the page, so I took a syringe, filled it with ink, and made ink splashes around the page. I loved how it looked!

Just like the quote I used, this piece reminded me to keep experimenting. I could have picked a fountain pen I was more familiar with to accomplish the same thing, but it was really fun to try something new. I enjoyed using this Pilot Parallel! The ink was incredibly well behaved with great flow. This was a great match.

I'd recommend this match to anyone who is looking to add something fun to their writing. It would be great for calligraphers! It is thick enough to get varying line widths, but if you write with it vertically you can get really thin lines. The ink is bright and lively, perfect for note-taking or journal writing. I can see it working well as an editing ink, too.

Drawing of a Steve Jobs quote with Iroshizuku Yu-Yake and Pilot Parallel 2.4mm pen.
Drawing of a Steve Jobs quote with Iroshizuku Yu-Yake and Pilot Parallel 2.4mm pen.
Drawing of a Steve Jobs quote with Iroshizuku Yu-Yake and Pilot Parallel 2.4mm pen.
Drawing of a Steve Jobs quote with Iroshizuku Yu-Yake and Pilot Parallel 2.4mm pen.
Drawing of a Steve Jobs quote with Iroshizuku Yu-Yake and Pilot Parallel 2.4mm pen.
You can find the Pilot Parallel Orange 2.4mm fountain pen at GouletPens.com for $10. It is also part of the Pilot Parallel Rainbow set, which has all four Pilot Parallel fountain pens and a pack of ink cartridges for $32. Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake ink can be found in 50ml bottles for $28 or 2ml ink samples for $2.25.

What inspires you and gets you motivated to write? Leave a comment and let me know!

Write on,

Friday, July 22, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 130, 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 the best inks to intentionally stain your pen, getting rid of the sheen in your ink, and my secret plans for new limited edition pens coming out.

New/Upcoming Products - (1:02)

Pens/Writing - (7:25)

1) thisbeforks- Instagram - (7:26)
Is it safe to use a gold nib as a flex pen? I notice that you mention the flexibility of gold nibs in your pen reviews, but I've been cautious about whether I can use a gold nibbed pen, like a Visconti Homo Sapiens or Pilot Vanishing Point as a flex pen without damaging the expensive nib.

  • it really depends on the nib
  • generally speaking no, just because a nib is gold does not mean you should flex it, any more than you should flex a steel nib just because it's steel
  • Visconti aren't even gold, they're palladium (similar though), and they had issues when they first came out with those nibs because everyone was springing them!
  • and the VP definitely isn't flexible because it's so small
  • some gold nibs have added flex, or are advertised as "soft"
  • few modern gold nibs are truly flexible, and even if they are you can spring them
  • only flex it if it's advertised as such, and even then do so carefully and at your own risk!

2) Brandon D.- Facebook - (13:47)
I have a Franklin Christoph pen in the ice finish (it's a translucent demonstrator). I have given up on trying to get the ink stains out of the material and started to like them. My question is how would I go about intentionally staining my pen a color with full knowledge that there is no going back? I have thought about soaking the pen in baystate blue but wanted some advice first.

3) Jacob Drosdick- YouTube - (18:16)
What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of using a #6 nib vs a #5 nib vs a #4 nib etc?

  • it's just a matter of size
  • #6 is the biggest, and has a lot of available replacement nib options which is why it's ideal
  • #5 is generally easier to fit inside a cap, so the pen doesn't need to be as large
  • #4 isn't very popular generally

4) Andy P.- Email - (21:53)
When looking at different pens that use the same brand of nib, how does the nib to paper writing experience compare? I understand that there is more to the overall writing experience than just the nib. Pen weight, pen feel, etc all play in. But if I am comparing say, an Edison pen to a Noodler's pen with a Goulet nib, will they feel the same on the paper, or does the feed add to the nib to paper writing experience?

  • the exact same nib in different pens can definitely feel different because of the weight, size, etc
  • I think the biggest factor will be the feed, especially on a pen like the Noodler's because it has such a wet flow

5) Andy P.- Email - (26:28)
Also, do manufacturers that buy Bock or Jowo nibs also get their feeds from these companies, or do they design their own feeds?

  • it depends, a bit of both
  • typically companies that make their own nibs also make their own feeds
  • some companies, especially smaller ones, will but the nib/feed/housing all together because it's just easier that way and it's usually a pretty good fit
  • Edison, Bexley, Franklin-Christoph, Karas Kustoms, Tactile Turn, all use a nib housing bought from the nib maker
  • Other companies that are larger may mix it up, do some that way or have their own feeds
  • TWSBI does their own feed but uses Jowo nibs
  • it depends on the design of the pen and if the grip is made to accommodate the "stock" nib housing

Ink - (32:08)

6) Brandon L.- Facebook - (32:12)
Iroshizuku Asa-Gao is my favorite blue ink. But I hate the red sheen in blue ink. Is there any way I can somehow separate the sheen from the ink, so I have a "sheenless" Asa-Gao?

7) n550550- Instagram - (35:38)
The super saturated and punchy inks like Diamine red dragon and majestic blue are my favourites. Which Blueblack, Brown and Burgundy inks do you consider to be in the similar league??

Business - (39:35)

8) Dylon K.- Facebook - (39:40)
Are Mondays busier for the Goulet team with all of the orders that build up over the weekend? Or is it more or less a normal day? What day would you say is your busiest workday of the week?

  • Mondays are busier for most of our team, yes
  • we're completely closed on the weekends, our team works their tails off during the week and we really value family time
  • really, every day is busy, and a lot depends on new products and restocking of stuff we've been out of for a while
  • Mondays are busy catching up from the weekend: emails, voicemails, orders, doing handwritten notes on those orders, placing purchase orders for what's sold over the weekend, catching up on social media, you name it
  • newsletter days are busy for us too, because it brings traffic to our site and we coincide launches and major restocks for those newsletters
  • we recently went from just wed to now tues and thu for our newsletters partly for that

9) Bruce Sinn-Brown- YouTube - (47:07)
Do you have any plans for any new Limited Edition Pens that you will help design with some of your new additions to your catalog (Visconti, Karas, Namiki, etc.)? What goes into starting something like that? I'm sure I'm not the only one who is looking forward to what else you guys will help come up with!

  • wouldn't you like to know! ;) 
  • I'm sworn to secrecy with LE pens until they're made public, but honestly, just about everything gets leaked before I'm given the go-ahead to talk about it publicly
  • LE pens can be in development for two years ahead of when you hear about it
  • we do get some influence with certain pens, it depends on how involved it is
  • a pen like the Delta Matte Black Unica wasn't a long lead time because it was a model they already had, and they'd experimented with the technique so they new how to do it
  • creating a whole new pen model takes a lot more time, like Visconti often does
  • we have a couple of things in the works that I'm really excited about, that will be set to come out around Oct/Nov, so be on the lookout

QOTW: What is a pen that you absolutely couldn't stand at first, but have grown to love over time? - (59:34)

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, July 21, 2016

Thursday Things: Piet Mondrian

A Piet Mondrian inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with primary colors.

You may not know his name but we'll bet you'd recognize his paintings. Piet Mondrian was a Dutch abstract artist, known for his use of basic shapes and primary colors. This week's Thursday Things features products that evoke this simple but stunning creativity.  From the mixture of the simple primary colors, red, blue, and yellow, a world of colorful opportunity is possible. However, as this collection shows, these hues are still gorgeous in their own right.

Featured products from left to right:
Shop all these primary colored products in the Thursday Things: Piet Mondrian shopping guide!
A Jinhao 159 Blue in a Piet Mondrian inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with primary colors.
Jinhao 159 Fountain Pen - Blue
De Atramentis Document Inks in a Piet Mondrian inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with primary colors.
De Atramentis Document Inks in Red, Yellow, and Blue
A Jinhao 159 Yellow in a Piet Mondrian inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with primary colors.
Jinhao 159 Fountain Pen in Yellow
A Lamy Safari Red in a Piet Mondrian inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with primary colors.
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen in Red
A Lamy Safari Red and Blue in a Piet Mondrian inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with primary colors.
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen in Red and Blue
A Piet Mondrian inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with primary colors.

Which pen or ink is your favorite for its simplistic beauty?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre: Ink Review

Hi inky friends! Madigan here, reviewing the newest J. Herbin 1670 ink, Caroube de Chypre.  Like most of the fountain pen world, I fell in love with last year's J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor, so I was excited to see what their newest shimmering ink would be like. I'm a huge fan of these fountain pen inks that add a little something extra. If you've seen any of my Monday Matchup picks or my ink reviews, you know that that is the case.

I don't know what it is about brown inks, but they are so unexpectedly pretty. I avoided brown in the crayon box like it was a monster as a child, but as an adult, brown fountain pen inks hold a special allure. Usually, they have a bit of shading and, while they stand out against the paper, the contrast isn't as stark as with black or dark blue ink. J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre was no exception to the brown ink rule! It's a deep, rich brown, with lovely shading. The gold glimmer and green sheen make it an exceptionally stunning ink. Read on to discover more!

J.Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre Brown fountain pen ink with gold shimmer

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre brown fountain pen ink with gold shimmer

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre brown fountain pen ink with gold shimmer

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):
  • Medium- When writing, it was dry in a little over 20 seconds. That's pretty good! If you want to see more of that sweet shimmer, I suggest laying it on thickly which will extend your dry time, so keep that in mind. If you are using a fine or extra-fine nib though, it should be fine to use for quick notes or journal writing.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):
  • Medium- I thought this one would just dissipate, but I was pleasantly surprised! While it wouldn't be good for rain storm or shower writing (that goes for any fountain pen ink, really), if you spilled a little water on it, it might still be legible. You can certainly still see the lines with the drip test.

  • High- With the swab test, you can see virtually no difference between the first and third swab. That being said, you will see a lot more gold glitter the more ink you put down. You might even see that pretty green sheen!

Ease of Cleaning:
  • Difficult- From experience, I can tell you that cleaning the feed of a fountain pen filled with shimmering ink can be difficult. You'll want to take special care with this one. I recommend removing the nib and feed, cleaning between the two and taking a tooth brush to the fins. Certain fountain pens are especially finicky with these types of inks- I've heard from a few customers that TWSBI pens in particular are not fans. That being said, it worked great in the Lamy and the Ahab I had it inked up in.

  • Medium- I'm being conservative here with this rating, since it really depends on the paper you are using. On Rhodia, it is more of a medium, but on Tomoé River, you can really see the stunning shading. It's spectacular!

  • Medium- It has good flow, without being overly juicy. Emerald of Chivor can be a bit wet, but this one was pretty standard, in a good way! You can use it in day to day writing without being worried about smearing.

Packaging and Aesthetics:
  • Gorgeous box with writing that matches the ink.
  • Beautiful square bottle with a wax seal to match!
  • The bottle has a small round opening, which could make it difficult to fill a fountain pen once you get to the very bottom 
Inks Similar in Color 

This is a truly exceptional ink! I put the "inks similar in color" section above, but I feel like it is misleading. There is nothing else like this on the fountain pen market at this time. While there are plenty of brown inks, and plenty of shimmering inks, there are no other brown shimmering inks. In addition to its uniqueness, it is really pleasant to write with. This particular shade of brown looks especially stunning on cream paper. I can see it being great for journal writing or correspondence.

You can find a 50ml bottle of J.Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre available for $26.00. You can try it out in a 2ml sample for $1.85. We also have the entire J.Herbin 1670 line available in sample sets and bottle package sets at GouletPens.com.

What do you think of Caroube de Chypre? Do you have any other shimmering inks?

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