Goulet Q&A Episode 171: Gold Vs Steel Nibs, Clipless Pens, and the Goulet Splatter Origin Story


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In this episode, I talk about gold vs steel nibs, clipless pens, and the story behind the Goulet ink splatter.

This week:
  • Memorial Day, we were closed on Monday
  • Awesome family time


New/Upcoming Products: – (2:55)
Pens/Writing – (13:49)

1) Mary P.- Facebook – (13:51)

So . . . you run out of ink, and your pen is due for a cleaning. But it’s the middle of the week–no time. You’ll clean your pen when the weekend comes round . . . hopefully. Is it better to re-fill your pen so that the ink leftovers don’t dry out? And if you don’t want to re-fill, is filling it with water a good idea? Is it better to keep using a dirty pen than to leave it sitting dry?
  • I’ve run into this situation a bunch, where I’ve wanted to change out a color in a given pen but I just don’t make the time to clean it out
  • I just refill it, yeah
  • or switch to a different pen! But then it’s likely this one will sit for a while and dry out, making it then harder to clean
  • if it’s basically empty and you fill it with water, it’ll look really gross, that’s not a great option imho
  • unless you want to fill it with water just to give it time until you can get around to cleaning it, then that kinda makes sense
  • you can keep refilling a pen over and over with the same ink
  • ideally, you want to clean it once a month if using the same color, and it doesn’t have to be very thorough
  • but really you can go as long as you desire before cleaning it if you’re pressed for time

2) thecontrarianknitter- Instagram – (19:10)

Gold nib vs. higher end steel nib. I want to upgrade to a next level pen, after a year of using a Lamy Al-Star. I began with a Lamy 2000, and it’s going back – apparently, we aren’t compatible. I was wondering if there’s any compelling reason to go with a gold nib vs. a higher end steel nib such as the Edison Nouveau? Both seem to offer some subtle flex and variability, but is there any other reason to choose gold over steel? And I think I’m afraid of gold nibs now.
  • the Lamy 2000 is a personal preference kind of pen, it’s not for everyone (though it’s really dang popular)
  • in and of itself, no, you don’t have to go with a gold nib over steel just bc it’s more expensive
  • some people just really prefer steel, especially given the price difference
  • steel nib quality has really increased in recent years, and gold prices have skyrocketed
  • I would maybe clarify from your question that in general, gold nibs are softer than steel, though not all steel nibs are nails, and not all gold are mushy
  • the Lamy 2000 is a special pen, even among gold nibs, so don’t let that spook you
  • if possible, find a friend that has a gold nibbed pen and try it out, I think you just might be a little gunshy
3) Meto N.- Facebook – (27:26)
Brian, I discovered recently that I’ve taken a liking to fountain pen designs that don’t have a clip. Does Goulet carry any clip-less pens? What are your recommendations?
4) Chad D.- Facebook – (34:11) 
I realize most aftermarket nibs are german. Are there any Japanese Nib sellers? I would love to get a Japanese EF #6. 
  • None that I’m aware of
  • the main Japanese companies are Pilot, Platinum, and Sailor, and all of them make proprietary nibs in-house, so few of them are exactly #6 like the German nibs
  • they don’t make them to be interchangeable with other brands, and they don’t like to sell parts (any of those companies)
  • the only way I know to get them is to hack them (get it off an existing pen) or buy it second-hand
Paper – (43:07)

5) Jason Brown- YouTube – (43:10)
With summer coming on and high humidity, how does this impact paper? Will there be a greater chance for feathering? Will it take longer to dry? Will the ink apply to the paper as smooth as a time when there is less humidity in the air? Etc and etc?
  • Paper that’s made from pulp will absorb moisture, even if it’s in the air
  • to what degree will vary based on the type of paper, of course
  • generally, the more humid, the longer the dry time, more likely to smear
  • I’m not sure how much humidity affects the smoothness of the page, honestly! 

Business – (46:47)


6) cortizcseh- Instagram – (46:52)
HOW did you come up with your logo? Is it based off of an actual real ink splatter, or is it digitally designed? Also, if it is real, what ink was used? I’ve always been so curious and would love to know the story behind it if there is one!
  • I talked about this in Q&A maybe 3 years ago, so I thought I could mention it again!
  • the Goulet Blue splatter is in fact made from real ink
  • at the time, our company only carried J. Herbin, Pelikan, Diamine and Private Reserve
  • we put ink into squeeze bottles and tried a couple of different colors 
  • it was less about the exact color and more about the saturation
  • we ended up using the splatter we did with Diamine Presidential Blue, and it was doctored up pretty heavily to get that perfect cerulean blue color
  • it was just me and Rachel back then, with the help of Rachel’s sister who was in photography school at the time and helped us edit it into its shape and color
  • The shape wasn’t particularly planned, it was organic and just came from dropping a bunch of drops! We did it until we found a shape that we liked and that was it

7) adelle71- Instagram – (52:29)
I just saw the dates for the D.C. Fountain Pen show this August. (Fortunately, I’m 25 minutes away). Will we see the team from Goulet Pens there?
  • The DC pen show is the first weekend of August 3-6 at Marriott Fairview Place in Falls Church, Va
  • This is a new location this year, so I’m curious to see how it goes
  • we may end up with a conflict during that event, we’re not sure yet
  • I have at least attended as a guest every year since 2009 so I will try my darnedest to be there!
  • we won’t have a booth or anything as GouletPens, but Rachel and I will try to hang out
  • we will encourage members of our team to go if they are able, just to experience it, but we won’t have any kind of a sponsored event there
  • I should know closer to the event if for sure I’ll be going and in what capacity
QOTW: What’s better, gold nibs or steel nibs? – (56:54)

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
2017-10-11T14:03:26+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments