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Friday, June 23, 2017

Goulet Q&A Episode 174: Becoming A Nibmeister, Showcasing All Premieres, and Using Fountain Pens On Cheap Paper


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 how to become a nibmeister, showing ALL the Premieres, and tips for using fountain pens on cheap paper!

This week:
  • very crazy, very busy last week personally
  • low-key Father's day, was nice
  • Summer has begun (for Northern Hemisphere!)
  • toured my local Amazon Distribution Center

New/Upcoming Products - (3:11)

Pens/Writing - (7:58)

1) joe.robs- Instagram - (8:02)
I am fifteen and am extremely interested in fountain pens. I have decided that I would like to take a step further into fountainpendom and become a nib smith or nibmeister (someone who grinds nibs or does nib work on pens, I don't know the proper name for them). I was wondering how can I take this step and how would I learn. Thanks, Joe.
  • nibmeister is a fairly appropriate term, the most commonly I've heard used any way
  • there's no official training/protocol for it these days
  • it's a true "trade" craft, so learning it from someone that already does it would be most ideal
  • there are really only a handful of individuals who do it, and they're tough to get a hold of because they're so busy
  • the best way to do it is to teach yourself, quite honestly
  • there are some videos out there where people do tuning and grinding, watch as much as you can
  • scour the internet
  • get your hands on as many junk nibs as possible, play with them!
  • you'll want a good loupe, micromesh, and a grinding wheel setup of some kind (dremel with diamond wheel is probably easiest to come by)
  • if there are any pen shows near you ever, go and see if you can plant yourself by a nibmeister and watch what they do
  • sometimes there are training classes at pen shows, like Richard Binder's class at DC
  • if this is something you REALLY want to do, you're going to have to make it happen, it will not be handed to you on a silver platter
  • you're 15, you're very young, and most people who would be your potential clients will find your age to be a barrier, so just mentally prepare yourself for that
  • in order to make up for that fact, you will need to become exceedingly excellent at your craft
  • learn everything you can, find every book that even mentions a nib and memorize it, practice and learn everything you can in all the free time you have
  • if you even have moderate talent, you can at least pay a good portion of your way through school doing it
  • if you're good and practice a ton, you can probably make a career of it...go get it

2) Athena- Email - (21:12)
With summer coming up and a new Edison Nouveau Premier due, I was wondering if you could do a round down of all the Edison Nouveau Premieres (regulars and special editions). In the past I could not picture myself spending $150 for a pen. Now that I have could to appreciate their value, I have missed out on many (Fire Ball, Cobalt and the Arctic Currents). Then, I found out there was a matte black that was sold as a regular edition. How I wish I had come into the fountain pen scene earlier. 
  • Let's look at all the pens!

3) James- Email - (36:25)
What does the feeder tube do, and why might it play a role in controlling ink flow?
  • it assists in the capillary action of the ink
  • ink can have a tendency to hang up at the end of the converter, so the feeder tube will assist in drawing the ink from inside the converter through to the feed
  • without it, the pen could have a tendency to dry up with certain inks that don't flow as freely

4) perogata- Instagram - (38:26)
The way we talk about nib feedback is rather one-dimensional. There seem to be other qualities to feedback than the "magnitude". How can we better classify feedback, and describe the difference between e.g. a Platinum 3776 and an ill-tuned IPG nib pen? Maybe we can borrow inspiration from the photography community, where they have invented all kinds of terms to explain good versus bad bokeh types?
  • There are some terms I commonly associate with feedback (which is admittedly a very general term)
  • Smooth/buttery/glassy- a highly polished nib will glide across the page, and any of these terms could be used to describe what that feels like
  • Toothy- this is generally where nibs such as Platinum 3776 14k nibs, Kara Kustoms Titanium, and Aurora Ipsilon fall. It doesn't cut the paper, it just feels "grabby" evenly in all directions
  • Scratchy- this is where something feels "wrong", especially if it's worse in one direction than another. It may cut the paper you're writing on, gathering up paper fibers into the slit of the nib
  • We could probably come up with something more granular, like the "x out of 10" ranking that's often used to describe wetness/flow

5) kuyaxdr- Instagram - (43:52)
What are some tips for using FPs on cheap, everyday paper?
  • this is a really popular question, because especially in the US, we don't have great FP paper as a standard in most places
  • "cheap" paper will be more absorbent, often feather and bleed more
  • because of the absorbency, it will almost always spread more, making your lines appear broader than they do on more ink-resistant paper
  • go with as fine a nib as you can stand, ideally EF or F, Japanese nibs in this size will generally be ground a little finer
  • go with pens that don't gush ink, especially be conscious when using flex nibs
  • steel nibs will often put down a little less ink that gold nibs, because gold is softer and will put more ink down with pressure 
  • try not to write with a lot of pressure, that puts down more ink
  • some ink will perform better than others on cheap paper, and you often need to sample it to see how it does perform (this is where ink reviews can help a lot)
  • be prepared to only use one side of the page, because of bleed through
  • this is where you can almost always cost-justify nicer paper, because you can actually use it on both sides!

Troubleshooting - (51:52)

6) Lesley S.- Blog - (51:53)
how do you know when you are running out of ink? One of my worst fears is running out of ink when I am in the middle of a meeting or somewhere else when I am taking notes. What are the signs that ink is low, especially where you can't see how full your pen is?
  • it depends on the pen
  • if it's truly running out, it will usually start to run dry, lines will be weak, color will lighten, flow will start to break/hard start
  • cartridge/converter pens are easy, a quite open up and look into the pen body will tell you what's going on
  • some piston/vacuum pens have ink windows, that tells you there
  • if you have a sealed body (usually piston, could be eyedropper too, lever or cresent) with no ink window, that's when it's tough to tell
  • one trick is to turn your piston pen upside down, and screw the piston down so it squeezes out the air (have a paper towel handy) and see if it's all air, or if ink's coming out
  • Depending how far down the piston goes, will tell you how much ink is in there
  • eyedropper you can turn it upside down, open it up and look down in there
  • lever or crescent, similar to the piston pen but requires a little more finesse to keep from blobbing the ink everywhere
  • my favorite solution? Keep a backup pen with you in case you run out!

Business - (1:01:55)

7) sarahabetz- Instagram - (1:01:56)
Is it a job requirement for Goulet employees to like fountain pens? Or can they *gasp* prefer ball point?
  • haha, no it's not a job requirement, though it is often a consequence of working here
  • not everyone here becomes a complete pen fanatic, though there's a very high proportion
  • most of our team uses them on a regular basis, or at least really appreciates and gets excited about new ones that come out
  • we seldom hire anyone with previous pen experience (just the odds), though it can help if they've used them before
  • we do provide pens to everyone when they start work here, we want them to experience it themselves if nothing else, so they can appreciate what we have going on here

QOTW: What's your favorite summertime ink? - (1:04:33)

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

Edison Nouveau Premiere Summer 2017 Special Edition Fountain Pen: Delphinium

The Edison Nouveau Premiere Delphinium is a gorgeous combination of rich purple and bold blue with ribbons of white.

What better way to celebrate the budding new summer season than with the exciting announcement of the latest collaboration between Edison Pen Co. and The Goulet Pen Company? The 15th seasonal edition of the Edison Nouveau Premiere is a rare blossom indeed, with petals of blue and purple throughout the swirled acrylic body. Aptly named Delphinium, the Edison Nouveau Premiere Summer 2017 edition is the embodiment of happiness and fun new experiences, much like its floral namesake. The Delphinium flower also holds a special meaning for Brian and Rachel. Rachel explains, "royal blue was one of our wedding colors and I wanted that color in our flowers. The florist suggested Delphinium because it is one of the only naturally blue flowers (and is in season in August, which is when we got married), so we went with that." So, this flower seemed an appropriate choice for the latest Premiere design. But don't hesitate too long, these beautiful blooms are only available for a limited time!

The Edison Nouveau Premiere Delphinium is a gorgeous combination of rich purple and bold blue with ribbons of white.Brian and Rachel Goulet's wedding photos, featuring blue delphinium.

The Edison Nouveau Premiere Delphinium is a gorgeous combination of rich purple and bold blue with ribbons of white. The pens are handmade by Edison Pen Co. in Milan, OH. Each pen has a unique appearance and the swirls vary by pens. The body is slightly translucent and would make for an interesting eyedropper pen if you enjoy catching glimpses of the ink swishing around inside. You can easily convert it with a bit of silicone grease. Check out Brian's video on how to eyedropper a pen here! The pen also comes with a standard international converter and is compatible with standard international cartridges. The pen is packaged in a lovely gift box.

The Edison Nouveau Premiere Delphinium is a gorgeous combination of rich purple and bold blue with ribbons of white.The Edison Nouveau Premiere Delphinium is a gorgeous combination of rich purple and bold blue with ribbons of white.

The Edison Nouveau Premiere takes a #6 nib and comes with your choice of a smooth writing Edison steel nib in EF, F, M, B, 1.1mm, and 1.5mm Stub. You can also upgrade to an 18kt Rhodium-plated gold nib for an additional $150. Replacement steel nibs are available for $25 in EF, F, M, B, 1.1mm, and 1.5mm Stub, if you'd like additional nib sizes to try out with your pen. Brian describes the Edison nibs as smooth-writing with a nice flow and just a hint of feedback. Not sure how to go about swapping nibs? Check out Brian's video!



Which inks would look spectacular with this pen? Check out our ink recommendations below!

Monteverde Ink Set - Summer 2017, featuring Charoite, Horizon Blue, and Caribbean Blue.

The Edison Nouveau Premiere is available at GouletPens.com for $149. You can find all of the product specs and dimensions, as well as additional details, on the product page.

The Edison Nouveau Premiere Delphinium is a gorgeous combination of rich purple and bold blue with ribbons of white.

What is your favorite summer color pairing?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday Things: Inksamplepalooza


We're crazy for ink samples this week! With Inksamplepalooza going strong now through July 18th, we've got ink samples on the brain here at Goulet Pens. This week's Thursday Things collection brings together some gorgeous samples in a plethora of colors, as well as all the tools you'll need to test and catalog your new colorful ink choices. Take a look at Thursday Things: Inksamplepalooza and you may just feel inspired to grow your ink assortment even more!

Featured products from left to right:

Ink samples
Goulet Notebooks w/ 68gsm Tomoe River Paper

Glass Dip Pens

Col-O-Ring Ink Testing Book

Have you picked up any exciting new samples to try?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Aurora Duo Cart: Quick Look


Timestamps:
(0:28) - Color Options
(0:37) - In The Hand
(0:55) - Weight / Dimensions
(1:07) - Balance and Feel
(1:18) - Nib Options
(1:26) - How It Writes
(1:44) - Features
(1:55) - Filling Mechanism
(2:05) - Ink Capacity
(2:15) - History
(2:28) - Cleaning
(2:34) - Price

In today's Quick Look, I'm showing off the Aurora Duo Cart. This particular fountain pen model was available around 50 years ago, and while not exactly the same, Aurora did a great job reviving it. For more details on this vintage-inspired beauty, be sure to watch the video above! Here are a few highlights:

  • Two colors available:
  • Hooded nib, allowing you to grip as lost to the nib as you want
  • Nearly no step at all, very streamlined design
  • Features a wet-writing stainless steel nib that's currently only available with a medium nib
  • Great for long form note writing because it's smooth, lightweight (24g), and easy to hold
  • Snap cap, but does required an intentional push to post
  • Price does vary between color options; $156 for Black, $180 for Bordeaux

If you're looking for a modern pen with vintage flair, the Aurora Duo Cart is a great option. For more details and up-to-date specs on the Aurora Duo Cart be sure to check it out on GouletPens.com. And you can subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos like this.

Aurora Duo Cart

Aurora Duo Cart - Writing Sample

What are your thoughts on the Aurora Duo Cart fountain pen? Let us know in the comments below!

Write on, 
Brian Goulet

Monday, June 19, 2017

Graf von Faber-Castell Violet Blue with a Faber-Castell WRITink: Monday Matchup #146

Purple flower drawing, illustrated with a Faber-Castell WritInk White fountain pen and Graf von Faber-Castell Violet Blue ink.

Happy Monday, pen friends! Margaret here. A few weeks back we introduced a new affordable fountain pen from Faber-Castell, called the WRITink. This week, I paired this pen in white with their Graf von Faber-Castell Violet Blue ink for my latest Monday Matchup.

To be honest, I wasn't feeling particularly inspired this time. Sometimes there are seasons like that, and that's ok. However, I've been on a fresh flowers kick recently so I decided to go with that. A classic saying about flowers is "Stop and smell the roses" so I started by writing out the phrase with the WRITink fine nib. I wrote "Stop and smell the" with the pen and then decided to emphasize the word "roses" by using our new Caran d'Ache waterbrush pen. I then took the brush pen to create the flower (even though I know it doesn't really look like an actual rose!) Before the text dried completely, I dipped the waterbrush pen in some water and went over the words to see what the ink would do. The ink was not dry as this point, so it smeared just a little bit, but the ink looked beautiful. I finished  by going back and added a few fine line details to the flower.

I really love this ink! There are few other colors out there that are this vibrant, and show off the blue and violet tones. It flowed well too, so I'm hoping to pick up a few samples to keep writing with it! Initially, I wasn't so sure about the fingerprint design on the WRITink. But as I wrote with the pen, it didn't bother me at all, so it's more of an appearance preference if anything. And the pen itself was super comfortable to hold. The nib on this pen is very fine, and it gives a ton of feedback. I really prefer smooth-writing nibs, with no feedback, so this wasn't the pen for me. I would have preferred using a medium nib on this pen to see if that changed the writing experience at all for me. It was just way too fine for me. However, if you like that sort of writing experience, this would be a good, affordable option.

Purple flower drawing, illustrated with a Faber-Castell WritInk White fountain pen and Graf von Faber-Castell Violet Blue ink.
Purple flower drawing, illustrated with a Faber-Castell WritInk White fountain pen and Graf von Faber-Castell Violet Blue ink.
Purple flower drawing, illustrated with a Faber-Castell WritInk White fountain pen and Graf von Faber-Castell Violet Blue ink.
Purple flower drawing, illustrated with a Faber-Castell WritInk White fountain pen and Graf von Faber-Castell Violet Blue ink.

You can find the Faber-Castell WRITink available at Goulet Pens for $28. You can find Graf von Faber-Castell Violet Blue available in a 75ml bottle for $30. 2ml ink samples are available for $1.75.

Follow the directions below for a chance to win this pen and the bottle of ink. We're excited to see what pen and ink you have matched!

How to enter Monday Matchup Giveaway:
  • Match a pen and ink together. They don't have to match in color, any fountain pen, and ink works.
  • Take a picture of your pen and ink matchup. 
  • Find the entry details and instructions below on how to share your picture with us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or as a blog comment*. 
  • You can choose to enter only one way or submit up to 4 different entries if you'd like. Feel free to use the same picture for all 4 entries.
  • Confirm your entry via the Rafflecopter widget below which will record your entries. This is how we'll draw a random winner. Since it's totally random, you're eligible to win each week! 
  • To see more of Rafflecopter's privacy policy, click here. Your email is never shared, and is only used to contact you should you win.
  • *Due to recent changes with the Disqus platform, you must register for a Disqus account in order to post a photo entry in the blog comments.
a Rafflecopter giveaway The contest is open Monday, June 19, 2017 at 12 pm EST until Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at 12 pm EST. One winner will be randomly selected and announced tomorrow once the contest closes. The winner must live in a country that Goulet Pens currently ships to. Click here to see the Official Contest Rules.

Write on, 
Margaret

Friday, June 16, 2017

Goulet Q&A Episode 173: Practicing Handwriting, Ultrasonic Cleaners, and Good & Bad Pen Habits!


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 practicing handwriting, ultrasonic cleaners, and good & bad pen habits!


This week:

  • anniversary of our miscarriage
  • Preschool graduation
  • kids finishing school

New/Upcoming Products: - (6:13)

Pens/Writing - (8:21)

1) Evan C.- Facebook - (8:23)
I just got started in writing with fountain pens. What is a good habit to have and what is a bad habit to have?
  • welcome! 
  • Good habit: regular pen cleaning/maintenance
  • Bad habit: leaving your pen uncapped for long periods

2) Bryce G.- YouTube/mel.the.maker Instagram - (10:56)
i was wondering if there was a sort of case i could purchase to store ink bottles on the go, as every pen case i seem to find doesn't have the room for ink, if not any tips for storing ink would be helpful. What about cleaning supplies?

3) thev1k1ng- Instagram - (18:39)
What are your thoughts on the use of ultrasonic cleaners for fountain pens? Especially, can they have any negative side effects on fountain pen materials? Do they affect piston or vacuum mechanisms? Destroy finish? Remove nib platings? Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience!
  • they are really helpful when you are trying to revive a pen
  • especially when ink has dried up inside it and made it unusable
  • generally speaking, I haven't heard of them causing any negative side effects
  • It can sometimes cause ink to get behind the piston seal if you soak the entire thing, but that doesn't really cause a lot of harm
  • you really don't need to be concerned about it hurting anything, they clean fine jewelry in them so you're going to be okay
  • just follow general common sense rules about soaking pens (like not soaking casein in water for long times, or not soaking aluminum in ammonia, etc)

4) the_bowtieguy- Instagram - (23:40)
When You, Rachel, and the rest of the team first got into fountain pens, did any of you find yourselves practicing your hand writing? Both my best friend (who got me into fountain pens) and I occasionally find ourselves just practicing the alphabet to get specific letters to look just right. I was wondering if we were alone on this or not. Love what You and the crew do, please keep up the phenomenal work.
  • most definitely! That's very normal
  • I personally had to look up how to even write in cursive again, because I'd forgotten certain letters
  • many people will find inspiration writing with a fountain pen and want to improve their handwriting better than it's ever been
  • some even go on to learn specific fonts like Spencerian or Copperplate

Ink - (26:45)

5) niewiadomski13- Instagram - (26:47)
Favorite ink feature and why? Sheen? Shimmer? Shading?
  • shading! That's always been my big draw to ink
  • I do appreciate sheen and shimmer, sure, but I'd give all those up for a good shader any day of the week
  • water resistance can be really appealing to a lot of times, so I want to give an honorable mention there

6) rmiskovsky- Instagram - (28:16)
Best ink for writing letters to a deployed spouse?? Specifically, I'm hoping for something that's a little unusual, but still very readable. Archival would be nice too.
  • My personal favorite story was hearing of a couple that wrote to each other in Blue Ghost to keep their letters private
  • Aside from that, I think that you could really go with anything, though I'd encourage something permanent/water resistant so it holds up under any conditions
  • Noodler's has a lot of these, and even some that are military-themed like Noodler's Lexington Gray, Air Corp Blue Black, and 54th Massachusetts

Troubleshooting - (31:05)

7) Chris F.- Email - (31:08)
With my general clumsiness and lack of fine motor skills, I always seem to drop my beloved fountain pens. They plummet to the earth nib-down every time. What recourse do I have for damaging nibs in this way? Do you recommend different strategies (e.g. repair versus replacement) for different nib types (e.g. steel versus gold)? How does one repair nibs?
  • ouch, this is always tough to hear about
  • definitely consider pens with swappable nibs, like Lamy
  • Steel vs gold can make a difference, steel nibs are tougher and might survive a fall better
  • steel nib are cheaper though, and may not be worth the investment in repairing if there's severe damage
  • both steel and gold can be repaired by a pro, their prices will vary with the severity of the damage
  • Expect to pay somewhere around $50 with shipping and whatnot for a repair
  • How exactly it's done is with a lot of experience, it's not super easy work to do

Business - (35:56)

8) logan_teague- Instagram - (35:59) 
What do you do with the empty bottles left over from taking ink samples? Do you recycle or do something else?
  • We try to repurpose as many of them as possible!
  • we sell them as empty ink bottles whenever we can, demand doesn't always equal supply though
  • we have given some to our team for personal use, even as wedding centerpieces!
  • if we can't reuse them, we recycle them

QOTW: Where is the most interesting place you have ever taken a fountain pen?- (39:18)

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, June 15, 2017

Thursday Things: Old Soul

A vintage, vinyl record inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

Drop some vinyl on the turntable and prepare yourself for some inspiration from times gone by. If you feel yourself often remarking that "they just don't make 'em like they used to," we have got the collection for you! Thursday Things: Old Soul is for all of your fountain pen fans that are not of this era and are yearning for a simpler time and pens of a much more classic, vintage feel. While these aren't the vintage pens and inks of yesteryear, they will certainly appeal to the same sense of style. So sit back and enjoy a trip down memory lane with Thursday Things: Old Soul and all it has to offer.

Featured products from left to right:
Aurora Duo Cart Bordeaux in a vintage, vinyl record inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Aurora Duo Cart Fountain Pen - Bordeaux with Gold Cap
Pilot E95S Black in a vintage, vinyl record inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Pilot E95S Fountain Pen - Black 
Noodler's Konrad Flex Pen #10 Dixie Jade in a vintage, vinyl record inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Noodler's Konrad Ebonite Flex Fountain Pen - Dixie #10 Jade 
Kaweco Classic Sport Classic Green in a vintage, vinyl record inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Kaweco Classic Sport Fountain Pen - Green
Pelikan M400 Tortoiseshell-Brown in a vintage, vinyl record inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Pelikan M400 Fountain Pen - Tortoiseshell-Brown
A vintage, vinyl record inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

Which vintage-inspired pen do you find yourself swooning over?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fountain Pen Nib Size Overview

What are the differences between Japanese and Western nibs? I read a lot online and see various comments about what the difference actually is, or that Japanese nibs write finer, but I figured it needed to be detailed out a bit further.

If you’ve gotten into fountain pens even a little bit, you know that one of the best and most confusing things about them is the ability to select different nib sizes. You can personalize your experience which is amazing, but there is an inherent challenge in that just about every company has a different standard, like shopping for women’s dress sizes. It’s different across every brand, and even across pen models within a brand!


Timestamps:
Where Nibs Come From - (0:35)
Japanese Companies - (0:48)
Japanese Nibs - (0:59)
Western Companies - (1:29)
Non Specific Brand Nibs - (1:42)
Other Countries That Make Their Own Nibs - (2:09)
Comparing FP Nibs - (2:15)
Nib Nook - (2:43)
Shopping For A Fountain Pen? - (2:57)
Outro - 3:30

Historically, pen companies never sought after consistency across the industry, because the market demanded personalization. Pens were made by hand, sold 1-to-1 in brick and mortar stores, and tested/adjusted in-house to fit individuals’ needs much like a tailor would fit a suit. Today the production is more consistent but there’s still a lot of handwork involved in the final tuning/polishing stages of making nibs. Over the years, there’s been no particular incentive for long-established pen companies to try to standardize to their competitor’s grinds, so they remain somewhat inconsistent across the industry. That said, there is a generalization out there about Japanese and Western (European) nib sizes and how they differ, and that’s what I’ll get into today.
Fountain Pen Nib Size Overview - Pilot Lamy
There are really two main countries that produce fountain pen nibs, Germany & Japan. There are other countries that produce nibs (China, India, France, etc) but those are really the big two.

Within Japan, there's really 3 main Japanese pen companies: Pilot, Platinum, and Sailor. These nibs are made in-house so they differ from pretty much every other brand because of that. The Extra-Fine & Fine nibs from these companies are really where the biggest differences are. They tend to be a full size finer than their Western counterparts. The Medium & Broad nibs tend to fall in line more with other pen brands.

So why are the Japanese nibs finer? That's because of the characters used in Japanese, the way they need to be written requires the line variation to produce a very fine line.
Fountain Pen Nib Size Overview - Platinum
Now for the Western/European companies that produce nibs, there are several countries that do this, but Germany is the main one. Lamy & Pelikan are both German brands that make their nibs in-house.

Bock and Jowo are actually two major nib producers in Germany that are non-brand specific. Bock nibs can be found on Karas Kustoms, Visconti, Kaweco, Tactile Turn, and others. JoWo supplies nibs for Edison, Goulet, and TWSBI.
Fountain Pen Nib Size Overview - Pelikan
Some key points when it comes to comparing nibs:

  • Standardizing ink & paper is really important. They both impact line width.
  • Having the same writer as everyone writes a bit differently (angle, pressure, writing speed)
  • Pen design can have an impact as well, like the flow & feed design. 

Fountain Pen Nib Size Overview - Nib Nook
Our Nib Nook tool is a great resource for comparing nibs across all the brands that we offer. It shows writing samples I've done with every nib on every pen we offer for a consistent comparison. If you still have questions on how a particular nib stacks up, reach out to us! We're more than happy to answer any questions as we know this can get confusing.

Do you have a favorite brand or nib that you're partial to? Let us know in the comments below!

Write on,
Brian Goulet

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How to Use the Caran d'Ache Waterbrush Pens



Waterbrush pens are a fun and interesting way to add some flair and depth to your writing and sketching. These tools are constructed of either a bristled brush or foam tip and can be used for lettering, ink washes, or as a complement to a fountain pen when drawing or sketching. The Museum Aquerelle waterbrushes from Caran d'Ache are one such example. Available in three sizes, these pens can be used with water, ink, or a combination of both. Read on to learn more about them and see some examples of their uses, as well as checking out the video above to see them in action!

Filling
Filling a Caran d'Ache Waterbrush Pen.
These pens feature a special filling mechanism that is a bit unique from other water brush pens. In order to fill, you must remove the brush tip and then submerge the pen in a cup of water or bottle of ink and suck up the liquid using the plunger mechanism. Once the pen body is filled, you can screw the tip back on and you're ready to write. If you do not want to write with the plunger fully extended, be sure to hold the pen with the filling end upwards and push the plunger in to expel the air bubble at the top.

Cleaning
Cleaning a Caran d'Ache Waterbrush Pen.
When you are ready to clean the pen, simply press in the rubber button on the side of the pen repeatedly to squeeze all of the water out of the pen and flush through the tip. You can also depress the plunger to flush water through the tip. Placing the tip of the pen on a paper towel will help wick the ink and water out of the pen during cleaning.

Ink Wash
Making an ink wash with a Caran d'Ache Waterbrush Pen.
These brush pens are a fun and distinct way to add some flair and excitement to your inky artwork. One of the most popular ways to use them around the GPC office is for ink washes. Whether you fill the pen with ink or dip the tip in the ink, you will find these brushes ideal for layering on color and creating a subtle background for your artwork or handlettering projects.

To create an ink wash:
1) Fill the water brush pen with water, ink, or a combination of the two
2) Test the color on a paper towel make sure it is the desired shade if using ink/ water mixture. Add more ink to darken color or more water to lighten.
3) Fill in desired area of ink wash
4) Let dry and admire!

Brush Lettering
Gradient hand lettering with a Caran d'Ache Waterbrush Pen.
Using a waterbrush pen for lettering can produce gorgeous, juicy letters that really make a statement. These pens, especially the foam tipped option, provide more control and accuracy than a paint brush but are much more fluid and free form than a conventional fountain pen. 

Using the brush pen for lettering:
1) Fill water brush pen with ink
2) Be sure to hold the pen at a 45 degree angle to allow you as much use of the pen for line variation as possible
3) If you want to achieve a color- change effect, you can fill the body with one color and dip the tip in another ink. As you write, the ink will gradually change from color 2 to color 1.

Drawing
Drawing with a Caran d'Ache Waterbrush Pen.
Another popular way around our office to utilize these great pens is to draw. This technique involves either utilizing water to soften lines and spread ink across the page when sketching or laying on more and more color to create a drawing with lots of depth and dimension.

Creating a drawing with a brush pen:
1) If you are altering or softening an existing drawing, fill your brush pen with water and spread the crisp lines drawn by your fountain pen. This technique will cause water-soluble inks to spread out and lighten up, creating a beautiful shading effect.
2) If using a water-resistant ink, use water to dilute the ink color within the pen and fill your drawing in using this ink/water combo in the pen reservoir.
3) You can also use this effect of softened ink colors to build up layers of color within the drawing you are aiming to create. This will allow you to create light and shadow in the desired places until your subject takes shape. You can check out some examples of this in various Monday Matchup blogs in our library.

3-pack of Caran d'Ache Waterbrush Pens.
You can find the Caran D'ache Museum Aquarelle Waterbrush Pens at Goulet Pens for $9.85 each or as a three-pack for $28.95.

Have you ever used a waterbrush pen? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!   

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Monday, June 12, 2017

Diamine Denim with a Conklin Herringbone Navy: Monday Matchup #145

Illustration of Kenny Chesney Trip Around the Sun lyrics, drawn with a Conklin Herringbone fountain pen and Diamine Denim ink.
Hey there, friends! Lydia back again, bringing you another Monday Matchup from the heart, featuring the new Conklin Herringbone in Navy Fine and some Diamine Denim ink. This week I've been reflecting on a milestone in my life and I turned to a favorite country artist for inspiration. Read on to hear how I created this sunny, inspiring quote and what I thought of the pen and ink!



This Monday Matchup comes at a very special time for me. I am turning 26 tomorrow, I'm in the process of moving to a new apartment, and we're on the cusp of my favorite season of the year. Every year, when my birthday rolls around, I always find myself reflecting on the events of the past year. It feels as though time is going increasingly faster each year, but one thing never changes. I am constantly amused and in awe of the great adventure each passing year turns out to be. As such, I wanted a quote that reflected that upbeat excitement that I greet each birthday with. Summer is my favorite season and nothing better says summer to me like country music. In searching for the perfect quote about another passing year, I stumbled upon Kenny Chesney's song "Trip Around The Sun" and instantly loved it. It totally captures my outlook on life.

I wanted to draw a piece that reflected all the variety a year can bring, that is where the inspiration for a geometric sun came in. I began by sketching out the sun and its rays and divided it into equal sections. In each section, I drew fun and easy repeating patterns to fill each slice. I love how relaxing and soothing this proved to be. Once I had the rough outlines of how I wanted each section to be, I grabbed a Caran d'Ache Museum Aquarelle water brush pen with a medium brush tip and filled it with water. I began by softening the lines of the rays and using the ink from this to fill in each triangle. I wanted each ray to have a little different shade to give the piece depth and variety. I had a bit of an issue getting enough color from the lines so I opened the bottle of Diamine Denim and used the ink from the cap to fill in the rays as well. Once I finished that, I went in and began filling in some of the slices of the sun. Diamine Denim is a great ink for ink washing and drawing. No matter how light or dark it is, you always end up with a gorgeous shade. I let the whole piece dry a bit then went over a few of the lines to make them crisp again.

I liked the textured look of the Herringbone so I was excited to try it out and Diamine Denim matched nicely and fit the country inspiration of the piece. I was hoping I would enjoy the Herringbone more. However, I think it may have been too slender for me and I ended up gripping it too tightly while doing the intricate drawings, so my hand cramped up a bit. It is also a little backweighted when you write with it posted, which wasn't super comfortable for me. The ink, as most Diamine inks are, was very wet and flowed beautifully. It was a bit of a challenge for me as a lefty to not smudge it, but as long as I didn't spend too much time in one area of the drawing, I did pretty well keeping the page clean. I believe this pen and ink would be good for any situation really. The ink is professional and the pen is definitely a conversation starter with a business-looking appeal.

The only thing I would change about this piece was my misquote of the lyrics. The quote from the song is actually "Here's to another year. Let's take another CRAZY trip around the sun." Alas, in my concentration to make sure my handwriting was clean and easy-to-read, I forgot a word. I think the spirit of the quote is still pretty well represented in the quote though and I had a lot of fun doing my first video Monday Matchup!

Illustration of Kenny Chesney Trip Around the Sun lyrics, drawn with a Conklin Herringbone fountain pen and Diamine Denim ink.
Illustration of Kenny Chesney Trip Around the Sun lyrics, drawn with a Conklin Herringbone fountain pen and Diamine Denim ink.
Illustration of Kenny Chesney Trip Around the Sun lyrics, drawn with a Conklin Herringbone fountain pen and Diamine Denim ink.
Illustration of Kenny Chesney Trip Around the Sun lyrics, drawn with a Conklin Herringbone fountain pen and Diamine Denim ink.
Diamine Denim fountain pen ink.

You can find the Conklin Herringbone at GouletPens.com for $56. Diamine Denim is available in a 30ml bottle for $7.50, an 80ml bottle for $14.95, and a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.

Follow the directions below for a chance to win this pen and the bottle of ink. We're excited to see what pen and ink you have matched!

How to enter Monday Matchup Giveaway:
  • Match a pen and ink together. They don't have to match in color, any fountain pen, and ink works.
  • Take a picture of your pen and ink matchup. 
  • Find the entry details and instructions below on how to share your picture with us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or as a blog comment*. 
  • You can choose to enter only one way or submit up to 4 different entries if you'd like. Feel free to use the same picture for all 4 entries.
  • Confirm your entry via the Rafflecopter widget below which will record your entries. This is how we'll draw a random winner. Since it's totally random, you're eligible to win each week! 
  • To see more of Rafflecopter's privacy policy, click here. Your email is never shared, and is only used to contact you should you win.
  • *Due to recent changes with the Disqus platform, you must register for a Disqus account in order to post a photo entry in the blog comments.
a Rafflecopter giveaway The contest is open Monday, June 12, 2017 at 12 pm EST until Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at 12 pm EST. One winner will be randomly selected and announced tomorrow once the contest closes. The winner must live in a country that Goulet Pens currently ships to. Click here to see the Official Contest Rules.

Write on,
Lydia

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