Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake: Ink Review

Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake orange fountain pen ink

Hello inky friends! Madigan here, reviewing the glorious Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake. I used this ink in a recent Monday Matchup and liked it immediately. While it might not be the most audacious orange, it is still vivacious with gorgeous shading. Yu-yake translates to sunset and this ink will certainly set your writing ablaze! Read on to discover more.

Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake orange fountain pen ink
Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake orange fountain pen ink
Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake orange fountain pen ink

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):
  • Medium- Under 30 seconds and this one is dry. That's a pretty standard drying time. Not quick dry by any means, but you shouldn't be too worried about turning the page when writing.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):
  • Medium- Surprisingly, this ink had pretty good staying power! It isn't exactly waterproof (there was some smearing) but the lines stayed somewhat in tact and legible.

  • Medium- While there were definite fluctuations in color between the first and second swabs, there was no difference between the second and third.

Ease of Cleaning:
  • Easy- The light hue of the ink made it easy to clean out of the pen. A couple of runs through the faucet, and my Lamy was clean.

  • High- Like a lot of orange inks, this one had gorgeous shading. When I worked with it in my Monday Matchup, I could see almost burnt orange, to this lighter shade. It's seriously stunning.

  • Medium-This ink has wonderful flow! Not to heavy, not too light, right in the sweet spot.

Packaging and Aesthetics:
  • Beautiful 50ml bottle and box.
  • Bottle has a large round opening making it easy to fill.
  • The box is beautifully designed and pleasant to look at.

Inks Similar in Color:

Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake ink review

This is a fantastic ink! I'm not sure if it quite beats out Noodler's Habanero for me, but it is gorgeous. I can see it working well as an alternative editing ink. It could work well for teachers who don't want to grade in red as well. Obviously, orange isn't the most professional of colors, but it could be used for letter writing or journaling.

You can find Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake at GouletPens.com in a 50ml bottle for $28 or a 2ml ink sample for $2.50.

What is your favorite orange ink?

Write on,

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Delta Journal Fountain Pens: Quick Look

I'm excited to introduce a new pen model now available at GouletPens.com. This is a relaunch of the Delta Journal (that is a pen, not a notebook!) which was previously priced much higher with a Fusion nib. Now that it has a stainless steel nib, Delta's dropped the price on it considerably. It looks a bit like a dressed up Delta Unica, and it's good as a daily writer, especially at the office if you want something that stands out but isn’t gaudy.

Delta Journal - 4 Colors

The body of the pen is individually turned out of cast acrylic resin which is a durable material that has a lot of depth to it. It'll come in 4 different colors: Matte Red, Matte Ivory, Matte Blue, and Matte Olive.

Delta Journal - Posted

Holding it in hand, the grip is medium to thick with a slight indent on it. The threads are subtle but present and you'll probably have at least one finger on them as they are close to the grip. The step is shallow and rounded though, so it's comfortable even if you hold your fingers right on it. The weight comes in around 22g overall which is very similar to the Lamy Al-Star, so it's fairly light for its size. It's also well-balanced whether posted or unposted because it posts low on the body. Overall, it feels really good in hand.

Delta Journal - Nib and Cap

It comes with a #6 size polished Stainless Steel nib. The flow will be fairly wet, similar to other Delta nibs, with a slightly toothy feel. You can get one with a fine or a medium nib, with both being on the broader side.

The Delta Journal comes with a threaded cap that takes just 1 full rotation to uncap, easy to do with just one twist. The clip is strong and functional with a wheel to help move over clothing. Each pen is also individually numbered. Even though it's not a limited edition, Delta tends to do this with a lot of their higher-end pens.

It has a threaded standard international cartridge/converter, making it very secure when filling up the pen. You can do that by removing the finial without even removing the body if you want. It'll take the standard international long cartridge, but it tends to stick a little bit in the back. Unfortunately, it cannot be eyedropper converted.

Delta Journal - Environmental

The MSRP price of the Delta Journal is $150, but you can grab one at GouletPens.com for $120. That $120 price tag puts it in a nice sweet spot helping fill a gap of pens in the $100-150 price range.

I think this could be a great pen for you if you want a handmade Italian pen that looks nice but isn’t flashy. For more details and up-to-date specs on the Delta Journal, be sure to check it out on GouletPens.com. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

New Noodler's Ink: American Aristocracy

Noodler's Ink has just released its newest ink: American Aristocracy.

This burgundy/purple ink is a part of the fast-drying ink line, following Bernanke Black, Bernanke Blue, Q'Ternity, and Berning Red. It is not waterproof, but designed to dry quickly which is great for lefties!

What is really unique about this purple quick-drying ink is that it is really three different colors. Intentionally.
Each batch (like all Noodler's ink) is made by hand, and hand-bottled to achieve the three distinct variations.

We asked Nathan Tardiff, the founder and creator of Noodler's Ink, why he intended the color variety and the story of the label, and here is his reply:
Henry Gage (3rd Viscount Gage) son of Thomas Gage (Royal Military Governor of Massachusetts) was responsible for the purchase of an estimated 19,000 bottles of wine including the most popular at the time among the aristocrats: red port, dark sherry, and Madeira… As the aristocrats surely were not giving the wine to those commoners paying the excessively punitive taxation of empire, but instead were using it to pry influence and connections from fellow aristocrats...in order to better distribute the largess and grandeur of state power and wealth amongst themselves – Noodler’s Ink has modeled “American Aristocracy” as an ink bottled individually, one bottle at a time with each bottle thus being purposefully unique…to resemble a conservative colonial semblance of the three most aristocratic colours: red port, dark sherry, and Madeira.

These reflect a series of plum burgundy hues – a very old style royal purple ink, traditionalist in tone due to the distance of the colonial era and age of the collective memory of it – yet fairly dramatic in the contrast of its lines upon the page. Hopefully, the memory of that “ancient regime” may give pause to those who may otherwise be prepared to embrace a new one that is surprisingly similar in its motives and behaviors.

It is being introduced simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic with an apology to His Majesty, King George III of Great Britain printed upon the content side of every label. As it is hoped any form of aristocracy never again establishes a permanent presence in both New England and Olde England... the ink is not bulletproof. A swatch of the ink utilizing a fresh cork from Portugal seems appropriate given the provenance of English aristocratic wines....
So all that being said, we're pleased to offer this new ink at GouletPens.com, at the normal price of $12.50 for a 3oz bottle. However, given the varying nature of the three different colors, we are not able to reliably offer samples. We also cannot honor any special requests for a specific color of the three available, so it's a bit of a risk you'll just have to be okay taking.

What do you think of this newest creation from Noodler's?

Write on,
Rachel Goulet

Monday, August 29, 2016

Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa with a Noodler's Neponset Black Python in Pearls: Monday Matchup #108

Drawing of the Sistine Chapel hands using Noodler's Neponset Black Python in Pearls with Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa.

Hi, fountain pen friends, Sarah here! My Monday Matchup for you today is a Noodler's Neoponset Acrylic Flex Fountain Pen in Black Python in Pearls paired with Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa.

I really wanted to create a drawing centered around the human form. Faces are very difficult to draw however, so I wanted to avoid that. I decided upon hands as a good subject. Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel felt like a really great place to draw inspiration because of the iconic hand gestures. I found this quote from Michelangelo really powerful too, so I decided to complete the piece by including it. To start, I printed a close-up, cropped image of the hands from the Sistine Chapel ceiling painting for reference. I got a general idea of how to sketch the piece and got to work. I flushed the pen out a few times and then inked it up. I outlined the shape of the hands to make sure they looked right. Then I grabbed a brush pen and used small amounts of ink to build up the shadows on the hands until they had the depth and dimension I was looking for. Once the hands were done and dry, I went back and wrote in the quote.

The Neponset is an interesting pen. It's not my favorite flex pen I've used but still fun. The pen was a bit finicky at the start and I experienced some hard starting, but after practicing a few strokes it began flowing smoothly for me. Once the pen started writing, I found that I loved the shading and moody color of the ink. The music nib was much more wet than the standard flex nib I was used to, so I found that large writing was helpful to utilize all of the flex capabilities. I knew that iron gall meant the ink was going to be water resistant and I wonder if that might explain the flow issues I had at the beginning. Since the ink is water resistant, it's not meant to be used as an ink wash. Once it was dry, it wasn't possible to move it at all with water. It was interesting to mix with water but it did not blend well and didn't like being watered down.

All in all, this ink would be great for writing more than art. The permanence of the iron gall ink makes it great for writing that you want to last. The color is dark and muted which would make it ideal for a professional setting or school, but the color is also elegant and unique which could be used for journaling.

If I were to do this piece again, I would do more experiments first to get a better feel for the pen and ink. I just went for it and started my drawing right off the bat, but more exploration of the water resistant qualities would have been helpful. Overall, I'm happy with the result and really enjoyed this matchup!

Drawing of the Sistine Chapel hands using Noodler's Neponset Black Python in Pearls with Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa.
Drawing of the Sistine Chapel hands using Noodler's Neponset Black Python in Pearls with Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa.
Drawing of the Sistine Chapel hands using Noodler's Neponset Black Python in Pearls with Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa.
Drawing of the Sistine Chapel hands using Noodler's Neponset Black Python in Pearls with Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa.
Drawing of the Sistine Chapel hands using Noodler's Neponset Black Python in Pearls with Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa.

You can find the Noodler's Neoponset Acrylic Flex Fountain Pen in Black Python in Pearls
available at GouletPens.com for $75. Rohrer & Klinger Scabiosa is available in a 50ml bottle for $11.95 or as a 2ml sample for 1.25. Because Scabiosa is an iron gall ink, we recommend not leaving it in your pen for longer than about a week as it may stain.

Have you ever tried an iron gall ink or another ink with special properties? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Write on,

Friday, August 26, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 135, 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 whatever happened to "Ink Nouveau", why people post their pens, and where I see Goulet Pens in 25 years!

New/Upcoming Products: - (1:12)

Pens/Writing - (13:25)

1) Gamaliel D.- Facebook - (13:28)
Could you do a more extensive review about the Pilot Custom 912 in stub nib? 
  • Sure!
  • It's a good size pen, similar to the Custom 823 but lighter
  • Uses a Pilot Con-70
  • nib size is similar to the Custom 74 nib as opposed to the Custom 823
  • all rhodium trim
  • black only
  • This is the pen that Pilot USA has chosen for special nibs like the FA, stub, Waverly, etc
  • the stub here writes a LOT like the Pilot VP stub
  • it's not super crisp, quite rounded
  • it actually writes crisper the steeper you hold it up
  • it gets pretty broad/rounded when you hold it low

2) John Lee-YouTube - (19:12)
Brian, can you talk a little about why people post their pens and what you figure is the percentage of people that do? I just don't get it. Even though its just a little while I have to hear in all pen reviews how well or not a pen posts, when most of the time their either back-weighted, cumbersome, ridiculous, unbalanced, bothersome, or just outright do not fit when posted. So clearly pens are designed to be written unposted, with few exceptions. So why are fountain pen enthusiast, a crowd who go through great lengths and expense to achieve the best writing experience, using their pens in a manner unintended? When in the end, that practice could scratch your pen and laying it out in front of you is much easier than posting. Is it a fear of losing your cap that overrides all the rest?
  • I know there's a huge difference between European preference and US preference here
  • I'm a US retailer, so a lot of my customer base is US (though not all)
  • My guess: 80-90% of US posts their pens
  • probably the opposite in Europe and Asia
  • A lot of our brands are European-based, so they make the pens without posting top-of-mind
  • Most Americans love posting their pens, I can't really tell you why!
  • I know I go back and forth
  • a lot of times I'll post because it is actually more comfortable for me, but I have large hands with long fingers
  • this is really curious!

3) j1448- Instagram - (28:01)
Hi Brian, I have a friend who loves their Pilot Plumix- but when I saw her using it for the first time, I had no idea what it was. Turns out, it's a pretty good pen but everyone seems overlook it (I think it's because the Metropolitan is so popular.) In your opinion, what are the 5 most underrated fountain pens?

4) Curtis F.- Facebook - (38:29)
I really like the look of some of Noodler's Ebonite pens, especially the new civil war ones. However, I am not that interested in a flex pen, at least I think. Is there a "standard" nib/nib unit that can be changed if I would get sick of the flex pen part?
  • the new Neponset Ebonites Noodler's just came out with are Civil War themed, yes
  • the Neponset music flex nib is definitely not for everyone
  • the flex is only if you press hard to make it flex, you can write with normal pressure and not flex it
  • that still is a pretty broad line though
  • it can be replaced with a Noodler's non-flex nib, though not super easily
  • Can also fit a Goulet nib, though it's been less consistent with the newer pens

Business - (43:53)

5) La Lynne- Facebook - (43:55) 
Hey Brian, on your YouTube videos (older ones!) you often say 'Goulet pens & ink nouveau' - what was the difference, when did you stop using ink nouveau, were there any benefits of having more than one site, do you still use that name for anything, and did you have any other sites before you settled on the Gouletpens one?
  • when I started out, I wanted to try to have my blog/videos as a separate 'brand' than my website
  • my logic (at the time) was I wanted to have my personal opinions and identity somewhat separated from the store, how ignorant I was!
  • I quickly realized my greatest asset was the personal nature of my videos, and the feedback I'd gain from the community to influence the products I'd carry in the store
  • I quickly regretted having the two separately branded, but co-branded for many years
  • there really were no benefits at all, it was more work and confusing for people to have two completely different brands for similar content!
  • ultimately, the recognition of Goulet far outweighed any affiliation anyone had with Ink Nouveau, so we merged them when we redid our website and blog in 2014
  • hardly anyone said much about the transition, it was very natural
  • we did try a bunch of different names before settling on The Goulet Pen Company
  • first I just went under my name as a sole proprietor
  • the we tried "The Wood Route", everyone pronounced it differently than we intended 
  • We've been The Goulet Pen Company (with gouletpens.com) since January 2009

6) fountainpen.ink- Instagram - (58:24)
Where do you see the company in 25 years? Do you have plans to grow into a massive fountain pen empire?
  • well, we've been around for just under 7 years so far, so it's a bit of a reach to picture 25 years...
  • a very large part of me wants to get deeper and deeper into the fountain pen world, getting into nibs and pen manufacturing and who knows what else by then
  • will it actually happen? It's hard to say
  • the internet itself is only about 25 years old, so whatever we're doing probably won't look that much like what we're doing now
  • I definitely enjoy growing and running this business, and I feel like I'm learning more and getting better at it every day
  • I don't think it'll ever be 'empire' status though, I enjoy being niche
  • Rachel and I have always just wanted to make the most with what we have, and if growth is the consequence of our good decisions and blessings, we will embrace it

Troubleshooting - (01:09:33)

7) _ben_nim_- Instagram - (01:09:36))
I like the Leuchtturm notebooks, especially with the matching Pen Loop. But sadly they are a little tight and won't fit my Vista, Safaris, AL-Stars and TWSBIs. I have a Lamy Logo that fits, but the pen is too narrow for my taste. So what is your recommendation for Pen-Loop-friendly fountain pens? (Or should i just give up and buy a Pilot MR/Metropolitan?)

QOTW: Do you post your pens or not? Why? - (01:16:41)

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, August 25, 2016

Thursday Things: Dragon's Ember

A dragon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with fiery orange colors.

Ignite your inspiration and let the creativity flow like lava from your pen with Thursday Things: Dragon's Ember. This hot collection of fire, lava, and dragon-themed pens, ink, and paper will have you burning up the pages with sparks of glowing brilliance. Let this week's collection engulf your imagination and set your writing passions ablaze.

Featured products from left to right:

Find all these products together on the Thursday Things: Dragon's Ember shopping guide!

A TWSBI Mini Smoke pen in a dragon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with fiery orange colors.
TWSBI Vac Mini Fountain Pen - Smoke
A Pilot Sterling Dragon pen in a dragon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with fiery orange colors.
Pilot Sterling Fountain Pen - Dragon
A Monteverde Intima Volcano Grey in dragon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with fiery orange colors.
Monteverde Intima Fountain Pen – Volcano Grey
A Smoke Custom 74 in a dragon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with fiery orange colors.
Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen - Smoke
A Homo Sapiens Dark Ages in a dragon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with fiery orange colors.
Visconti Homo Sapiens Fountain Pen - Dark Age
A Kaweco Liliput Fireblue in a dragon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with fiery orange colors.
Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen - Fireblue
A dragon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with fiery orange colors.

Do you have a favorite fire-inspired fountain pen or ink?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Top 7 Fountain Pens to Last a Lifetime

Timeless. Durable. Comfortable. Finding a pen that can stand the test of time can, well, take some time! You want something that bucks trends and has that classic appeal that will last for decades. It also needs to be made of tough stuff, to stand up to years of hard writing. Finally, it must feel good in your hand not just now, but in 20, 30, 40 years.

The plethora of antique fountain pens in the world that are still in working order tells us that fountain pens are made tough. That being said, the number of antique pens requiring a little (or a lot!) of TLC proves that not all fountain pens are made the same. That is especially true in this day and age, with new and more economical materials and methods of production.

While all of our fountain pens will last you much longer than your average plastic rollerball, we've put together a selection of fountain pens that you'll want to make a long term commitment to. They are stylish but not faddy, durable but not bulky, smooth writers but never boring. In short, they are the buy-it-oncer's dream pens.

Lamy 2000
The Lamy 2000 is made of Makrolon (brushed fiberglass) and stainless steel, making it a strong and durable pen. With a gold nib and large filling capacity, it is a pen that will serve you well and for a long time. The design is sophisticated and pleasing, while the weight and balance of the pen make it an incredible tool to hold. To get the best writing experience, this pen may require a bit of getting used to, so be prepared for an adjustment period. That being said, the smoothness of the nib and stunning design make this a pen you won't mind making a lifetime commitment to.

The Lamy 2000 is available in Makrolon for $159.20 or Stainless Steel for $300.

Karas Kustoms
Hand machined in the USA, Karas Kustoms fountain pens were created with durability in mind. They are made to be thrown in your pocket, purse, or bag and rattle around next to your keys and wallet. In fact, the scratched and weathered appearance they acquire after a few years is part of the appeal to some. They are offered in aluminum, brass, and copper with swappable nib and grip sections, for personal customization. Depending on the material used to create them, they can range in weight, so make sure to double check that if you don't enjoy heavy pens. They come in two models, the Fountain K and the Ink, which have the same aesthetic but are different sizes (the Fountain K is smaller). To test their durability claim, Brian literally threw this pen across a parking lot once and it came up slightly scratched, but with no noticeable writing problems. If you have a tendency to go really hard on pens this could be your one and only, forever and ever, fountain pen.

Karas Kustoms fountain pens range in price depending on model and material used. They start at $75 and go up to $150. 

Platinum 3776 Century
The Platinum 3776 Century has a classic design that will never go out of style. If you are only a sporadic writer, don't enjoy changing ink, or just hate the cleaning process that comes with fountain pens, this could be a good option for you. The Platinum 3776 comes with a "Slip & Seal" mechanism which keeps your ink from evaporating for up to 24 months. The gold nibs are gorgeous and give just a hint of feedback when writing. It comes in a number of beautiful colors including black, blue, burgundy, and a clear demonstrator. From time to time, Platinum will release a limited edition, which are made with equal care and attention but aren't available for long.

The Platinum 3776 Century is available at GouletPens.com for $150 to $176 depending on the model.

Pilot Custom 823
The Pilot Custom 823 is striking in amber with gorgeous gold trim. The fountain pen goodness doesn't end there - the vacuum filling system holds an incredible amount of ink and the 14kt nib glides smoothly across the page. It's a bit larger than other Pilot pens we carry, but still comfortable in the hand. The resin is a smoky amber demonstrator, so you'll be able to watch your ink level in the body of the pen. Additionally, this pen is incredibly well balanced and truly a pleasure to hold in your hand. It'd make a great pen for a lifetime because of the smooth nib, incredible balance, and ink capacity. The Pen Addict has a great pen review, which you can read here.

The Pilot Custom 823 is available at GouletPens.com for $288.

Edison Nouveau Premiere 
Edison Nouveau Premiere fountain pens are known for their beauty. Their designs are classic, smooth, and made of stunning acrylics in a variety of shades. One of the things that distinguishes these pens from others is that you can change a number of things about them. You can use a standard international converter (which comes with the pen) or eyedropper it for increased ink capacity. The nibs are also easily swappable and come in two varieties, steel or 18kt gold. Both nib styles are extremely smooth and a joy to write with. They are also fairly lightweight with an ergonomic grip section perfect for long writing sessions. While the Edison Nouveau Premiere is a favorite around here, the Collier, Beaumont, or Pearlette fountain pens all have their advantages.

You can find the Edison Nouveau Premiere at GouletPens.com starting at $149.

Visconti Homo Sapiens
The Visconti Homo Sapiens joins this list for a number of reasons. First of all, the pen is made from basaltic lava, a fact that is fascinating but also provides incredible strength to the body of the fountain pen. It is virtually unbreakable and hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs the moisture from your hand as you are writing. This is especially helpful if you are prone to long writing sessions which can sometimes result in slippery grip sections. This pen has a number of other incredible details that make it a top contender to be your be-all, end-all pen. The 23kt palladium nib is wonderfully smooth, although quite a wet writer. It features the Visconti Hook Safe Lock, which means it won't come unscrewed in your pocket and create an inky disaster. Additionally, the vacuum power filler is resistant to ink corrosion, making it a safe bet for long term use. It comes in two sizes, regular and midi, so you have some options if you prefer larger or smaller pens.

The Visconti Homo Sapiens ranges in price depending on size from $440 to $556 at GouletPens.com. 

Namiki Maki-e

The line of Namiki Maki-e pens actually come with a lifetime guarantee. Urushi lacquer, which is used in every Namiki pen, is an incredibly durable material for all that is a natural substance. Each pen is not only gorgeous, they are well balanced and come with incredibly smooth nibs. The designs are intricate and would be fascinating to behold, even 20 years from now. The understated and classic color palette on each pen won't go out of style. While the Emperor might be a bit large for everyday use (or not! depends on your hand size), the Nippon Art Series, the Yukari line, and the Chinkin Collection will fit snugly in most hands.

The Namiki Maki-e fountain pen collection range in price based on the model and are available at GouletPens.com.

A couple of tips if you are purchasing a pen with the idea of using it for the next fifty years or so. You're going to want to take care of the inner mechanisms and the outer body. Even the best engineered pen will become finicky if you don't maintain a regular cleaning schedule.

If you plan on carrying it around in your pocket or purse, a pen case or sleeve made of leather is your best bet for body protection. You might see some wear and tear on the leather after a decade or so, but your pen should be just fine inside. We carry Aston and Visconti pen cases that would work perfectly for this purpose and vary in price.

Those are our top picks. What do you think of our selections? Do you have a pen that you've purchased for lifetime use? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Monday, August 22, 2016

Diamine Autumn Oak with Tactile Turn Gist Black Polycarbonate: Monday Matchup #107

Orange Hakuna Matata pen and ink illustration, drawn with a Tactile Turn Gist fountain pen and Diamine Autumn Oak ink.

Hey there, Foutain Pen Friends! Lydia here, bringing you my happy matchup of Diamine Autumn Oak and a Tactile Turn Gist Black Polycarbonate. Despite the Halloween color scheme of this pen and ink combo and the obviously fall inspired name of this ink, I still felt like it captured a very summery essence. If I had to pick a color that reminded me of the month of August, it would be orange.

August is a very family oriented month for me. With multiple sibling and grandparent birthdays, as well as anniversaries, it seems like I spend the whole month celebrating with loved ones. One of my favorite things to do with my family is watch movies. Movie night usually involves piling on the couch with whoever is around, shutting off the lights, and tuning into the alternate reality on the TV. What better way to honor this month than with one of my favorite movie quotes from one of my favorite family movies? It doesn't get much more carefree than that, so hakuna matata was a perfect mantra for this theme!

To begin my piece, I outlined the lion, then created a second line inside of that to make the outline bold. I then went through and filled in the space between the lines. I loved how dark the ink was able to shade in this space. Then I wrote the quote around my drawing. I have always loved writing in cursive so I went with that.  I loved the thin lines of the fine nib of the pen in contrast to the bold lines of the drawing. After I wrote the quote in, I felt like the piece still looked a little too plain so I decided to take the brush pen and fill in the drawing. I put a few drops of ink in my brush pen and then filled it with water. I loved the a yellow- orange hue! It was the perfect contrast to the outline. This ink is not at all water resistant so my lines ran like crazy when the water hit. Once it had dried, I went over my outlines again to fill them back in.

I was excited to get my hands on the Tactile Turn Gist because I've been eying up the copper one since we announced we were carrying them. These pens definitely create tactile experience, but not in such a way that it is disruptive to writing. It was very comfortable to write with but the engraved exterior of the pen gave it a little excitement and made it stand out from the experience of using other pens. Autumn Oak is no Noodler's Apache Sunset, but it still gets a pretty good variety of shading, which was awesome. I was skeptical at first when I saw the color of the ink when it goes down on paper (it wasn't a very pretty shade), but I was pleasantly surprised when it dried. It is a very pleasing orange.

This pen is definitely a great pen for writing, whether it's notes, letters, or just jotting things down. The fine nib especially is great for writing. Diamine Autumn Oak is great for writing letters to break out of the ordinary colors. It might be good for writing key important parts of notes, but maybe not for a full page of note-taking as the orange might be hard on the eyes when going back to study. This is a great, versatile pairing of pen and ink though.

If I were to do this piece again, I might try using a different design with more intricate line work to really showcase how well the pen handles for fine lines. The ink is gorgeous and has beautiful shading but I feel like the brilliance of the pen was a little underrepresented in my design. It is such a great pen. Overall, I am very happy with my piece though.

Orange Hakuna Matata pen and ink illustration, drawn with a Tactile Turn Gist fountain pen and Diamine Autumn Oak ink.
Orange Hakuna Matata pen and ink illustration, drawn with a Tactile Turn Gist fountain pen and Diamine Autumn Oak ink.
Orange Hakuna Matata pen and ink illustration, drawn with a Tactile Turn Gist fountain pen and Diamine Autumn Oak ink.
Orange Hakuna Matata pen and ink illustration, drawn with a Tactile Turn Gist fountain pen and Diamine Autumn Oak ink.
Orange Hakuna Matata pen and ink illustration, drawn with a Tactile Turn Gist fountain pen and Diamine Autumn Oak ink.

You can find the Tactile Turn Gist black polycarbonate in EF, F, M, and 1.1 at GouletPens.com for $99. Diamine Autumn Oak is available in a 30ml bottle for $7.50, an 80ml bottle for $14.95, or a 2ml sample for $1.25.

Have you ever used an ink that you weren't a fan of when you first saw it on paper, but fell in love with it after it dried?

Write on,

Friday, August 19, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 134, 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 pens, when to tell if your ink's gone bad, and my biggest complaint about fountain pens!

This week:
  • Rachel and I celebrated 10 year anniversary, went to the beach

New/Upcoming Products - (2:04)

Pens/Writing - (4:40)

1) Ashley B.- Facebook -(4:41)
You've shown in a few videos how to clean out a pen with a cartridge converter or a piston filler. I have yet to find any information on how to best clean out an eye dropper pen. I put some J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre in my Charlie pen and I'm wanting switch out to Diamine Blue Velvet. What's the best and easiest way to go about cleaning/flushing the ink out so I can try out the Blue Velvet?
  • It's usually similar to a cartridge/converter pen
  • the best tool is a bulb syringe
  • flush out the body with just water (cover the opening and shake it)
  • use a q-tip if needed
  • be aware of what ink you use, CdC is not one of the easiest to clean out so try to stick with it for a while if you use it in an eyedropper

2) Evan M.- Facebook -(9:16)
Hey, I just bought a London fog. I watched every video I can find but can't seem to get a definitive answer. In a perfect working pen equipped with the double resevoir, it should write until the first chamber (small chamber) is empty without having to unscrew the blindcap cap correct? Or am I supposed to be leaving it open?
  • You can write with it without having to unscrew the back, yes
  • it holds about as much as an SI cartridge
  • open the back when you need to refill that front chamber, otherwise don't sweat it
  • it's easy to tell b/c it's clear

3) shubor- Instagram -(13:40)
Best places to get custom pens? Esp cool ones you saw at dc?
  • I have nothing to gain by mentioning any customer pen maker, I'm not affiliated with any of their pen sales
  • custom pen makers are near and dear to my heart, that's what I had originally set out to do with Goulet Pens
  • Edison pens (I'm affiliated with their production line only)
  • Shawn Newton, Newton Pens
  • Jonathan Brooks, Carolina Pens
  • Ryan Krusac, Ryan Krusac Studios
  • Kanilea Pens 

Ink -(19:42)

4) Connor Adlam- YouTube -(19:43)
Does the saturation of an ink affect its fade resistance over time? For normal non-permanent inks, would a less saturated ink be more susceptible to fading over time than a saturated ink in the same colour family?
  • To a small degree, probably (I have no proof)
  • I think the nature of the dye itself is a much bigger factor
  • I don't think the saturation of the ink should really impact how you use/store your inks, you should still keep them out of direct sunlight and in a cool/dry place

5) Suzanne W.- Facebook - (24:19)
What do you consider in deciding if you have a bottle ink gone bad? Wondering about one of mine, have had major flow problems in 3 different pens from cheap to a bit more expensive, different size nibs and 2 styles of converters. It has a slight odor - rather musty or like damp dirt. None of my other bottles (6 different brands) have any smell to them.
  • it sounds like yours has gone bad
  • the smell is a big tip-off, especially with others inks to compare
  • anything visibly off, like fuzzy stuff on top, sludge, stringy fibers
  • I would dump it, unfortunately
  • if you're curious, strain it with a coffee filter and see if you can see anything in it
  • I would then clean your pens with a 10% bleach solution to get the gunk out of the pen

6) j1448- Instagram - (29:24)
Do you think there is room left in the fountain pen market to make completely new colors?
  • oh sure, there's always room for innovation! 
  • a couple of years ago, no one would have guess that glittery sparkles in ink would be a thing, and here it is
  • there are a lot of different colors out there, and while there are a lot of fountain pen ink colors, it's nowhere near everything we can see
  • I get asked what inks are close to specific colors, and sometimes it's tough to find something exactly like it
  • the differences may be subtle, but they're there

Paper -(32:48)

7) @geekosupremo- Twitter - (32:52)
Is there a “best” combo of ink & paper for using both sides of the paper?

Personal -(35:26)

8) Appa YourFlyingBison- YouTube - (35:28)
Hey Brian, I always keep up with your morning motivation on snapchat and I was wondering what earphones you use and what you listen to while biking. Keep up with the great motivation
  • that's very cool, thank you!
  • I use Yurbuds Focus 300, they're pretty good, but nothing amazing
  • I prefer over-ear earbuds so they hang on while I'm moving around a lot
  • I listen mainly to audiobooks, a LOT of them
  • I've listened to over 60 audiobooks in the last 3 years, most non-fiction business/leadership, personal development or religious books, a biography here and there
  • I debate about listening to things while riding, if it's truly "safe"
  • I ride early in the morning on extremely rural roads, so there's rarely anyone else on the road when I am, so I feel comfortable
  • because it's speaking, I can still hear my surroundings as it plays, unlike when listening to music
  • please be safe when listening to anything while you ride/run

9) Rebecca S.- Email - (40:15)
We all love fountain pens but what is your biggest complaint about them?
  • I hear complains about ink on fingers, having to fill/clean/maintain them, leaking, spilling, you name it
  • none of that bothers me, really
  • my biggest complaint is actually the thing I love the most about fountain pens, too, it's a paradox
  • the variability of pen, ink, and paper performance as they interact with each other is frustrating when it isn't acting like you want it to
  • it's also wonderful and keeps my fountain pen experience rich and interesting even after 7+ years of being completely immersed in this world

Troubleshooting - (44:07)

10) ceew- Instagram - (44:10)
Are crescent fillers not compatible with the Visconti travelling inkwell? I've tried it several ways but I can't get my Visconti Millennium arc or Conklin crescent to fill from it. Help?
  • they are, it just takes some finesse to make it work well
  • you can actually get a very full filling this way

QOTW: What are some cool things you've done to celebrate significant anniversaries in your life? - (48:32)

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, August 18, 2016

Thursday Things: On Pointe

A ballet inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with light pink and pastel colors.

When you see this Thursday Things collection of ballet-inspired products chassé on to your screen, you can't help but fall in love. We put our heart and soul into capturing all the graceful, refined beauty of a beautiful ballet dancer with this ensemble of products. So give yourself over to the music and let your heart pirouette with joy as you take in Thursday Things: On Pointe. 

Featured products from left to right:
See this elegant collection on one page in our Thursday Things: On Pointe shopping guide
A Parker IM Premium fountain pen in a ballet inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with light pink and pastel colors.
Parker IM Premium Fountain Pen – Pink Pearl
A Platinum Plaisir fountain pen in a ballet inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with light pink and pastel colors.
Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen – Pink
A Filofax Original Organizer in a ballet inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with light pink and pastel colors.
Filofax Personal Organizer – The Original, Nude
A Platinum Cool in a ballet inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with light pink and pastel colors.
Platinum Cool Fountain Pen – Crystal Rose
A Visconti Van Gogh Pair of Shoes in a ballet inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with light pink and pastel colors.
Visconti Van Gogh Fountain Pen - A Pair of Shoes
A ballet inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with light pink and pastel colors.

What pen or ink exudes elegance and grace in your mind?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

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