Friday, September 30, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 140, 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 fountain pens for kids, military deployment fountain pen options, and what really gives a fountain pen its soul!

This week:
  • Goulet 50k giveaway, close to 700 entries! Wow! Big shoutout for Colin
  • Top 5 Fountain Pens for Newbies, FP 101, Top Shading Inks, Next Level Pens
  • Winner....Stephanie Griffith! "My favorite youtube video is the Atlanta Pen Show 2016 Recap. I was honored enough to meet the Goulets at the pen show and I make a minor cameo in this video! It was so great to hang out with fellow fountain pen enthusiasts and meet some of the awesome people I have met through social media!" 
  • Slowed down a bit
  • Katy came back!

New/Upcoming Products: - (7:15)
  • Pelikan m400 Tortoise Shell- Brown
  • Slow week for new product launches
  • Physical inventory
  • Blog on doing ink washes 
  • new Parker IM and Urban pens coming out! Check out our blog
    • Changing nib, slimming body, centerband, finial, new colors and patterns
    • Urban $60-88 range
    • IM $44-76 range
    • we’re gathering interest
    • previously only medium, now also in fine!

Pens/Writing - (9:34)

1) Ramananda R.- Facebook - (9:36)
Can nibs be made with anything other than metals?
  • CAN they? Sure, but not often are they
  • metal is durable and malleable enough to work with
  • There are glass pens
  • There are wood/bamboo/reed pens (that artists use)
  • feathers (quills)
  • really any natural material can be a nib, it'll just look really different than metal ones

2) Lisa R.- Facebook - (13:51)
I'm deployed and don't want to have a treasured fountain pen with me, and can't keep bottled ink easily. What is your favorite pen that accepts standard cartridges which isn't too expensive?
  • thank you for your service!
  • I'm assuming standard here means Standard International
  • you can get cartridges for any C/C pen, though a lot are proprietary, so be aware
  • SI might be easier to get abroad, depending where you are (esp Europe)
  • Jinhao x450/750 - cheap and durable
  • Nemosine Singularity - $20, good nib ranges, maybe a bit delicate though
  • Kaweco Sport
  • Faber-Castell Loom
  • Karas Kustoms or Tactile Turn for sure
    • not super cheap, but really durable, American made, take SI carts
  • Schrade Tactical pen (I don't sell it, but I hear good things)

3) otaku.crafts- Instagram - (19:15)
What do you think about fountain pens designed for kids like the Lamy ABC, pelikan happy pen or bruynzeel my grip.

  • I'm actually a fan of them
  • my experience with kid pens has been that they actually perform great, very smooth and durable nibs
  • usually only one nib size though, around a medium
  • often are pretty bright, colorful, and odd-shaped (look like kid pens)
  • they don't sell well for us AT ALL, so we don't carry most of them
  • I think they're worth a look, especially for kids

4) ryanshh- Instagram - (22:21)
What exactly is a fountain pen? By that I mean, If I have a fine, black metropolitan with black ink and a medium, green metropolitan with green ink and switch which body is screwed onto each section...did I just change the ink color in my pens? If I clean the nibs and feeds and only swap converters did I? What if I keep the sections, converters and bodies but swap out nibs and feeds? In short, is there a piece you feel gives each pen its identity?

  • ahhh...a deep question here!
  • what makes a fountain pen is a complete pen
  • the nib (and feed) is definitely the soul of the fountain pen, that's what it's really all built around
  • the body of the pen really distinguishes it too, especially with SE/LE's
  • it's really the complete pen that makes it a pen
  • observing how they're manufactured, it's all just parts until the pen is completely assembled, so if you swap a part out, it's really still that same pen just with a new part (even the nib)
  • so while the nib is really the working end of the pen, the body of the pen is really more what I would say is the thing that really makes it "that pen"

Ink - (28:03)

5) Kate P.- Facebook - (28:07)
I have a theory that waterproof inks dry out in pens faster than non-waterproof inks. What say you?

  • that's somewhat of a generalization, true
  • it really depends, there are plenty of non-waterproof inks that can be dry
  • there are a couple of categories of waterproof inks:
  • it definitely does depend on the ink, ones like the Noodler's Black Eel are lubricated and don't dry out easily
  • as a general rule, I would say that you should exercise more diligence when using/maintaining pens with waterproof inks in them

6) Jocelyn S.- Facebook - (34:01)
When my hands are stained but dry the ink doesn't seem to rub off on things like white door jams or other things I've touched that would be a shame to stain by accident. Can getting my hands wet by washing or sweating cause old ink spots on my fingers to stain things I touch?

  • I've found that this can be the case with fresh ink on your hands, that if it's dried but you haven't yet washed your hands, sweat can make it rub off
  • if you have washed your hands (just with normal soap) you shouldn't have that problem
  • you might still see ink on your fingers, but it won't be nearly as likely to rub off due to sweat (under normal circumstances)
  • as a practice, when I get a lot of ink on my fingers, I do a simple hand washing, and then don't even think about it from there

7) SteVen F.- Facebook - (37:41)
Is it only direct sunlight that causes ink to degrade? I have a relatively dim light bulb in my room, and I have my bottled inks displayed on my shelf. The curtains on my windows are dark, thick, and don't really let much sunlight in at all. Is light from a low wattage incandescent bulb safe for my inks? Or should I only keep them in their boxes/in a drawer?

  • so it's the UV rays in the sunlight that degrade the ink dyes, and direct sunlight affects it the most
  • to a degree, indirect sunlight can degrade it too, though slower
  • the amount of UV exposure from a lightbulb is much lower than direct sunlight
  • fluorescent and halogen lights emit a higher UV exposure
  • incandescent light emits much less, so little you probably don't even need to worry about it
  • same goes for LED
  • So if you keep it out and exposed to direct sunlight or bright fluorescents, that's not ideal for archiving your inks
  • other light may be okay, but if you want it to really last the longest, keep it in the box

QOTW: What age were you when you used your first fountain pen? - (46:19)

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

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday Things: Peacock

The proud Peacock can teach us a great deal about confidence and poise. What better inspiration to jump start your writing than such a proud and regal bird? Much like the eyes emblazoned on each feather, the pens, inks, and notebooks in this assortment will open your eyes to new thoughts and ideas and have you writing your most amazing work yet. But with writing tools this striking, the beauty of your pen and ink may very well outshine the inspired written words themselves. Take a moment and admire this week's collection, Thursday Things: Peacock.

Featured products from left to right:
Want to see all these beautiful products conveniently on one page? Check out the Thursday Things: Peacock shopping guide!

Nemosine Singularity Fountain Pen – Magenta
J. Herbin Glass Dip Pen – Blue/Green
Pilot Plumix Fountain Pen - Light Blue
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen – Blue
Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop Fountain Pen – Purple

What pen or ink do you grab when you're taking your writing to the wild side?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How to Make an Ink Wash

Hey there, fountain pen friends! Madigan here. We've gotten a lot of questions over the last year about how to make an ink wash. It's a great way to use up the last little bit of your ink and make beautiful quotes or cards. I've done a ton of these and one of the things that I love about them is how each time you do it, you get to see a new aspect in the ink. It's also a very soothing process. There are a few things you'll need to get started.

I'm going to walk you through four different methods of ink washes. I'll start with the simplest method and move on to the most complex.

1. One Color Ink Wash
The first method (and the easiest) is to do a one-color ink wash. You'll need:
  • Your watercolor paper cut to postcard size
  • The ink of your choice
  • Two paintbrushes
  • A cup of water
Take the bigger paintbrush and spread a light coating of water on the paper. You can make whatever shape you’d like (mine was a rectangle-ish). Dip your second paint brush into the ink and then lightly tap it to the already wet paper. Once you’ve gotten it to the color you’d like, spread it around on the page using the ink paintbrush. You can also tip it from side to side to let it run one way or another. Set it aside and repeat the process until you have your desired amount of color on the page.

2. Two Color Ink Wash
For the second method, you'll need the following:
  • Watercolor paper cut to size
  • 2 fountain pen ink colors of your choice
  • 3 paint brusehs
  • A cup of water
  • A friend to help
Just like in the first ink wash method, you are going to use your bigger paintbrush to lay out a light layer of water on top of the page. You and your friend each take a paint brush and start at opposite ends of the paper, gently dabbing in your ink color. Keep going until you have about a centimeter of space in between the two shades. Gently pick up the card and tilt it side to side to subtly combine the ink colors. Set it aside to dry and repeat.

3. The Gradient Method

 For this method, you'll need the following supplies:
  • Watercolor paper cut to size
  • 2 paintbrushes
  • Fountain pen ink of your choice
  • A cup of water
This time, start with the smaller paintbrush, dip it in your ink, and apply it directly to the paper. Don’t go as far up the page as you’d think- you are going to use the water to spread the ink out. Once you’ve gotten the ink down, take the larger paintbrush dip it in water and spread it in one direction. Go back and forth spreading the color up the page as far as you'd like. Set aside to dry and repeat the process.

 4. The Dual Color Gradient Method
For the final method, you'll need the following:
  • Watercolor paper cut to size
  • 4 paintbrushes
  • 2 fountain pen ink colors of your choice
  • A cup of water
Start with a smaller paint brush and, on opposite sides of the paper, apply the ink directly in a thin line. Go over the ink with separate paintbrushes in opposite directions. Set aside and allow to dry while repeating the process.

A tip- if you are looking for a particular ink color, be sure to check out our Swab Shop. You can compare ink choices side by side and see which one works best for you.

Have you come up with a great way to use fountain pen ink to make cards? Let me know in the comments below!

Write on,

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sneak Peek: Parker Transformation (IM and Urban)

Parker has been in the pen business since 1888, and is in the process of making a total transformation here in 2016. Every pen is being redesigned, some to a greater degree than others. Today we'll give you a sneak peek of the Parker Urban and the Parker IM.

All of the nibs are being redesigned. You'll notice the biggest difference is in the Urban and IM models, which will now be available in both fine as well as medium sizes (both steel).

Parker Urban

The Urban is getting a bit of a makeover. The profile will be a bit slimmer, the clip redesigned, and the centerband enhanced. Here's a before/after:

And the colors.... oh, so many colors! Here's the new line:
Parker Urban in Black Cab ($60)
Parker Urban in Metro Metallic ($60)
Parker Urban in Muted Black with Chrome Trim ($60)
Parker Urban in Muted Black with Gold Trim ($60)
Parker Urban in Nightsky Blue ($60)
Parker Urban in Vibrant Blue ($60)
Parker Urban in Vibrant Magenta ($60)
Parker Urban Premium in Dark Blue ($88)
Parker Urban Premium in Dark Purple ($88)
Parker Urban Premium in Green ($88) 
Parker Urban Premium in Orange ($88) 
Parker Urban Premium in Violet ($88)  
Parker Urban Premium in Aureate Powder ($88)
Parker Urban Premium in Silvered Powder ($88) 
Parker Urban Premium in Ebony Metal ($88)
Parker Urban Premium in Pearl Metal ($88)

The Parker Urban comes with an ink cartridge, or you can purchase a Parker converter separately to use bottled ink.

Parker IM

The IM is also getting a bit of a makeover. The top finial will be a little shorter, the clip redesigned, and the centerband enhanced. Here's a before/after:

And again, lots of colors to choose from! Here they are....
Parker IM in Black with Chrome Trim ($44)
Parker IM in Black with Gold Trim ($44)
Parker IM in Blue ($44)
Parker IM in Brushed Metal with Gold Trim ($44) 
Parker IM in Dark Espresso Lacquer ($44)
Parker IM in Light Blue Grey ($44) 
Parker IM in Light Purple ($44)
Parker IM in White ($44)
Parker IM Premium in Black with Gold Trim ($76)
Parker IM Premium in Blue ($76)
Parker IM Premium in Brown ($76)
Parker IM Premium in Dark Espresso Chiselled ($76) 
Parker IM Premium in Dark Violet ($76)
Parker IM Premium in Pale Green ($76)
Parker IM Premium in Warm Grey with Gold Trim ($76)

Like the Urban, the Parker IM comes with an ink cartridge, or you can purchase a Parker converter separately to use bottled ink.

So there you have it. Right now we're expecting these new Parker pens to be available in late October, give or take. All of the existing IM (Brown Shadow, Emerald Pearl, Pink Pearl) and Urban (Amethyst Pearl, Golden Pearl, and Silver-Blue Pearl) pens on our site will be discontinued by the end of the year if not sooner.

This is a ton of pens, so we're really looking for your feedback.... would you like to see these regularly available at Goulet Pens? Let us know what color/model you're digging in the comments below. Thanks!

Write On,
Rachel Goulet

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