Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday Things: Back to School

Back to school season is here! It's time to stock up on your gear. Whether you're off to high school, college, grad school, or you're a teacher leading the class, we've got the supplies you need to be prepared for the exciting year ahead. Thursday Things: Back to School offers a collection of our favorite pens, inks, and paper for students and educators alike. If you want to set yourself up for success this school year, be sure to scope out these pieces.

Featured products from left to right:

Noodler’s Black (4.5oz bottle)
Pilot Varsity Fountain Pen Pack - Assorted
Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop Fountain Pen - Purple
TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen - Clear
Nemosine Singularity Fountain Pen - Azalea
Pilot Kakuno Fountain Pen - Blue/Grey
Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen - Blue

What is your must-have back-to-school pen, ink, or notebook?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Friday, August 11, 2017

2017 Video Roundup

It's been a busy 2017 for us here at GPC when it comes to videos! From Ink Tests to Quick Looks to Goulet Guests, we've delivered a variety of educational & interesting content each & every week. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, so you don't miss out! Here's a one-stop-shop for all the videos we've produced in 2017:

Ink Videos
Ink Test - Monteverde Napa Burgundy (January 31, 2017)
Ink Test - Diamine Purple Pazzazz (February 14, 2017)
Ink Test - Monteverde Emerald Green (February 28, 2017)
Ink Test - Pilot Iroshizuku Tsutsuji (March 7, 2017)
Ink Test - Diamine Tropical Glow (March 30, 2017)
Ink Test - Diamine Pink Glitz (April 4, 2017)
Ink Test - Stipula Sapphron (May 4, 2017)
Ink Test - Diamine Meadow (May 9, 2017)
Ink Test - Monteverde Charoite (May 17, 2017)
Ink Test - Montegrappa Turquoise (June 5, 2017)
Ink Test - Noodler's Kiowa Pecan (July 20, 2017)
Ink Test - Lamy Turquoise (July 31, 2017)
INK OFF: J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor vs. Robert Oster Peppermint (May 18, 2017)
Brian's Top 5 Work Appropriate Inks (July 18, 2017)

Quick Looks/Pen Videos
Quick Look: Nock Sinclair (January 25, 2017)
Quick Look: Nock Brasstown (March 17, 2017)
Quick Look: TWSBI Eco (May 16, 2017)
Quick Look: Edison Collier (May 30, 2017)
Quick Look: Aurora Duo Cart (June 20, 2017)
Quick Look: Leuchtturm1917 Some Lines A Day Notebook (June 28, 2017)
Quick Look: Conklin Nighthawk SE Metals (July 24, 2017)
Lamy Al-Star Pacific - 2017 Special Edition (February 9, 2017)
Introducing Karas Kustoms Titanium Nibs (March 6, 2017)
Lamy Safari Petrol - 2017 Special Edition (May 24, 2017)

GPC Quick Tips
GPC Quick Tips - Anatomy of a Fountain Pen (February 23, 2017)
GPC Quick Tips - Jumpstarting a Fountain Pen (March 28, 2017)
GPC Quick Tips - Friction Fit Nib Removal (April 10, 2017)
GPC Quick Tips - Pen Cleaning (May 2, 2017)
GPC Quick Tips - How to Use Caran d'Ache Waterbrush Pens (June 13, 2017)
GPC Quick Tips - Disassembling a Vac700/R (June 27, 2017)

Monday Matchup Time Lapses
Monday Matchup #127 Time Lapse: Karas Kustoms Ink & Diamine Blue Flame (January 30, 2017)
Monday Matchup #129 Time Lapse: Kaweco Liliput Fireblue & Graf von Faber-Castell Garnet Red (February 13, 2017)
Monday Matchup #130 Time Lapse: Nemosine Singularity Aqua & Robert Oster Bondi Blue (February 20, 2017)
Monday Matchup #131 Time Lapse: Faber-Castell Ambition Pearwood & Aurora Black (February 27, 2017)
Monday Matchup #135 Time Lapse: Noodler's Nib Creaper & Robert Oster Tranquility (March 27, 2017)
Monday Matchup #140 Time Lapse: Pelikan M205 Blue Marbled & Diamine Regency Blue (May 1, 2017)
Monday Matchup #142 Time Lapse: Platinum Preppy Markers & Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-gao (May 15, 2017)
Monday Matchup #145 Time Lapse: Conklin Herringbone & Diamine Denim (June 12, 2017)
Monday Matchup #150 Time Lapse: Monteverde Giant Sequoia & Monteverde Erinite (July 24, 2017)

Top 7 Fountain Pen Wins (January 11, 2017)
Mixing Sealing Wax Colors (February 1, 2017)
Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook Comparison (February 8, 2017)
How to Write with Shimmering Inks (March 22, 2017)
Wednesday Washout (May 3, 2017)
National Notebook Day (May 18, 2017)
Lamy Z28 Converter (May 31, 2017)
Fountain Pen Nib Size Overview (June 14, 2017)
Goulet Guests: Spotlight on Ryder Carroll, Creator of the Bullet Journal (July 11, 2017)

Now that you're all caught up, let us know in the comments what your favorite video of 2017 has been thus far!

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Monday, August 7, 2017

Nemosine Neptune Blue with a Noodler's Neponset Ghostly Lapis: Monday Matchup #152

Drawing of a mermaid with a Noodler's Neponset Ghostly Lapis fountain pen and Nemosine Neptune Blue ink.

Hey there, my name is Jenn D. I am the Executive Assistant to Brian and this is my first Monday Matchup. I am so excited to share with you my pairing of a Noodler's Neponset flex pen in Ghostly Lapis and Nemosine Neptune Blue ink. Read on to hear about the inspiration behind my sea-inspired piece, how I created it, and what I thought of this pen and ink!

I am a great fan of broad and stub nibs, but I’d never used a flex pen. This Monday Matchup was my opportunity to try something new. I knew I wanted to do a sea-themed picture so I looked for an appropriate blue ink. I chose the Nemosine ink specifically because the name fit my intended theme perfectly (I mean come on... Neptune? Seriously perfect!) and the color is beautiful. I love the beach and I am headed to there in a few weeks, so a mermaid drawing seemed just the thing!

To begin, I wrote the quote out several times on regular paper to get a feel for the pen. As I said, I’m a newbie to flex pens; learning to vary my lines was a fun challenge. I watched a few of our videos on flex pens and talked to some team members to get tips on using them. I have a natural tendency to grip my pens really tightly and the Neponset requires pressure to make the nib really flex, so I had to work at figuring out how to flex the pen without fatiguing my hand. Once I had that down, I found a simple mermaid picture and traced it several times to get the outline right. The ink was helpful because it is quite wet and flowed nicely through all of the swooping lines. As I grew more confident in my flex pen usage, I grabbed sheets of Rhodia (my favorite note-taking paper) and Tomoe River to test the drawing out on. I decided to complete the piece on Tomoe for its smoothness under the nib as I wrote. After a few mishaps with smudging and burping ink, I was able to nail this piece on my fourth draft. I finally found the patience to walk away in between outlining the picture and adding details so I didn’t smear the lines on my mermaid. I used the Neponset to color just inside the outline and then followed up with a brush pen dipped in the ink. I spread ink on the spots I wanted the darkest and tried to blend out from there. Then I cleaned the brush pen and applied it to the page with only water in an effort to blend some of the areas where you could see I had stopped and restarted drawing. Overall, the hardest thing was learning to go slow - to write slowly, draw slowly, and put the pen down between steps to let everything dry and settle. I wouldn’t change anything about this matchup; I just needed to learn to have patience and a light grip! This was my very first Monday Matchup and, overall, I was surprised at how fun the process was and how much I enjoyed the end result.

I adore this pen and ink! I have no practical reason to own a flex pen, because I don't write letters or bullet journal, or anything of the sort. I normally only use my pens to take notes and write to-do lists. That said, I loved this pen so much that it is now at the top of my wishlist. The Neponset is a large pen and I have larger hands, so I found it quite comfortable to hold. It's not heavy and it posts, which I prefer. Once I learned to relax my grip, it was a blast writing and drawing with this pen.

The ink is beautiful. The red sheen was a complete surprise to me and I loved it. Plus the huge variety of shades I was able to get using the brush pen was fantastic; it really helped the mermaid appear fluid and watery, like she was actually in the ocean. Because this ink was so wet, I feel like it helped my writing appear smoother. The flex nib and wet ink would make it difficult to use this pen and ink for work or school, but I think this would be a great pen and ink combo for Bullet Journaling or for anything that required gorgeous hand-lettering. It's a great pen and ink combo for artistic work of any kind, really.

Drawing of a mermaid with a Noodler's Neponset Ghostly Lapis fountain pen and Nemosine Neptune Blue ink.
Drawing of a mermaid with a Noodler's Neponset Ghostly Lapis fountain pen and Nemosine Neptune Blue ink.
Drawing of a mermaid with a Noodler's Neponset Ghostly Lapis fountain pen and Nemosine Neptune Blue ink.
Drawing of a mermaid with a Noodler's Neponset Ghostly Lapis fountain pen and Nemosine Neptune Blue ink.
Drawing of a mermaid with a Noodler's Neponset Ghostly Lapis fountain pen and Nemosine Neptune Blue ink.

You can find the Noodler's Neponset Flex Pen in Ghostly Lapis at GouletPens.com for $75. Nemosine Neptune Blue is available in a 35ml bottle for $7.99 or 2ml ink sample for $1.35.

Want to bring this ocean-inspired pair home? Learn how to enter below!

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, August 7, 2017 at 12 pm EST until Tuesday, August 8, 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,

Goulet Pens Move Week Details

Hey pen friends,

As we mentioned a few weeks back, we're moving to a new building! It's happening for real this week, so we wanted to give you a quick overview of how it might affect you.

Tuesday, August 8:
This is our last full day of shipping. We'll be temporarily disabling our domestic FedEx Standard Overnight and FedEx 2-Day shipping at this point, until after the move is completed and we resume our normal shipping operation on Monday, August 14th.

Wednesday, August 9:
All orders will be shipped by mid-day. Starting around late morning our time, we'll begin our physical inventory process. During this time, the site will still be up but you won't be able to submit an order in checkout until we've finished. We will bring the site back up when the count is done, likely around the end of the work day depending on how things go.

Thursday, August 10 & Friday, August 11:
The big move! We'll do our best to answer your emails and phone calls, but we may have some interrupted internet connectivity during the transition from our old building to the new one. Worst case, we'll get back to you the following week. You can place orders like normal, but nothing will be shipped during this time.

Monday, August 14:
The goal is to be fully operational like normal. We'll resume shipping all orders, and re-enable our domestic FedEx expedited shipping methods. We'll work on answering all emails and phone calls, too.  It may take us a little bit of time to catch up, so thank you in advance for your patience!

We are super excited about our big move! We have been planning for this out for months, but it's impossible to anticipate every possible scenario. So thank you so much in advance for your patience and flexibility with us.  We look forward to serving you from the new space next week!

Write on,
Rachel Goulet

Friday, August 4, 2017

Goulet Q&A Episode 180: Answering Questions from Q&A #1!

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.

Welcome to the first ever Q&A Redo! It's been about 4 years since I started Q&A, and I wanted to revisit some of the opinions I had in the very first episode and see if they still hold up. Enjoy!

1) Steven- Facebook: - (3:43)
Ok...from this moment forward you can only use one pen for the rest of your life...what pen do you choose in the following price ranges: $50 or less, 125 or less, 250 or less, and finally...the sky is the limit...price is not an option. (be thankful I'm not asking you to choose only one ink...although I have a feeling it would be some shade of blue)

2) Alec Johnson- YouTube: - (12:53)
What is your favorite ink/pen combo that is not Liberty's Elysium and the Pilot Custom 74?

3) Brett Poole- YouTube: - (19:37)
Why do you only sell your current selection? Do you have plans on branching out into different brands? (Read: Visconti, Mont Blanc). Also would you consider a pen refurbishing / trade-in model?
  • Original answer:
    • I'm an enthusiast, I vet the products we carry through my own experience and enthusiasm
    • brands like Visconti, MB, Faber-Castell may choose to only sell through B&M stores, which we are not
    • I will try to wear them down, carrying them if possible!
  • Today: - (21:33)
    • my original answer still holds up, though now there's more structured input from our team that goes into decisions for what we carry, though Rachel and I have that ultimate accountability
    • since starting Q&A, we've begun carrying both Faber-Castell and Visconti! We've been exceptions for both, but doing well with them
    • MB still isn't knocking on our door...

4) Bob- Blog: - (25:36)
What do you think is the dollar threshold where a fountain pen's writing performance does not get any better if you spend more money. For example does a $100 pen write as good as you're likely to get regardless of what you spend. Thanks!

  • Original answer:
    • value varies a lot overall (filling mechanisms, materials, etc)
    • writing only, narrows the scope
    • +$200 is where the writing doesn't necessarily improve, other factors are more important for the price
  • Today: - (29:13)
    • I still agree with 2013 Brian!
    • While there has been some inflation since then, the general idea still holds true
    • I do have more experience now with $200+ pens, and there are some exceptions to writing quality improving with specific nibs like the Visconti palladiums, Pelikan m1000 and Namiki Emperor, they are unique
    • overall though, going over $200 you are spending more on other factors than just how it writes

5) Sam- Blog: - (31:16)
What's your favorite ink, and why? Any color that you consider "yours"? 

6) Arnim Sommer- YouTube: - (34:55)
Which ink does the world still lack? 
  • Original answer:
    • Bulletproof purple or green
    • other colors of whiteboard inks
    • nothing specific in mind
    • Parker Penman Sapphire recreation
    • I'm generally pretty happy with what's come out
  • Today: - (36:11)
    • I totally didn't see the shimmering ink sensation at that time, even though J. Herbin Rouge Hematite led that
    • No one really cares much about whiteboard inks, forget that
    • Parker Penman Sapphire is something I hear about so little today, there are great substitutes like Diamine Majestic Blue, Noodler's Ottoman Azure, DA Atlantic Blue and Indigo Blue...
    • I think inks with new properties will become future sensations, moving past the traditional "safe" inks
    • I can see inks with unique sheens or shading properties, perhaps something that's color-shifting! Shimmering inks with different colors of sheen in them kind of accomplish this, but there could be non-pigmented versions of the same things

QOTW: How do you like this vid, me going back and answering old questions? - (42:44)

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, August 3, 2017

Thursday Things: Coffee & Tea

A coffee and tea inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Grab your favorite mug, fill it with something warm and inviting, and settle down for the perfect writer's retreat. This week's Thursday Things is inspired by the delicious smells of the perfect cup of coffee or tea and the lift they bring to each and every writing session. Chock full of pens, inks, and accessories that accentuate the hues in your favorite hot beverage, Thursday Things: Coffee & Tea is sure to stir up the desire for a good quiet writing session. Drink it up!

Featured products from left to right:

Rich brown fountain pen ink swabs in a coffee and tea inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Robert Oster Caffe Crema, Diamine Espresso, Robert Oster Melon Tea, J. Herbin Cafe de Iles, J. Herbin Lie de The
Monteverde Giant Sequoia Brown in a coffee and tea inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Monteverde Giant Sequoia Fountain Pen - Brown
Montegrappa Felicita in a coffee and tea inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Montegrappa Felicita Fountain Pen - Caramel
Edison Nouveau Premiere Cappuccino in a coffee and tea inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Edison Nouveau Premiere Fountain Pen - Cappuccino
Pelikan M400 Tortoiseshell Brown in a coffee and tea inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Pelikan M400 Fountain Pen - Tortoiseshell Brown
A coffee and tea inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

What beverage perfectly compliments your writing sessions?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

At The Beginning, Is It Better To Have A Variety of Inks or Pens?

When you're first getting started in the world of fountain pens, it can be a bit overwhelming and hard to discern where to start. In this slice from a previous episode of Goulet Q&A, Brian tackles the important question of which to stock up on first: Ink or Pens? Read on to find out the answer.

Even Brian Goulet had to start somewhere when he first got into fountain pens. When you do not have a lot of experience and don't want to invest a lot of money into a hobby you're not sure will stick, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options. Brian explains that since Goulet Pens started out primarily selling ink and paper, he drew much of his interest from that and dove deep into the world of inks. Inks were really what excited him as well so he ran with it.

However, this is, in his opinion, also the best way for anyone to start the fountain pen hobby. It is a fairly easy task to find an inexpensive pen that you enjoy and will write well on a page. But the ink is the thing that is left behind on the page and the factor that you will see more often so it is important to find the right ink. Once you find that good pen, you can then set to the task of searching down inks. With the opportunity to purchase ink samples, you are definitely getting the most bang for your buck buy accumulating inks as well.

Pens can be expensive to someone not familiar with the cost of fountain pens. A Lamy Al-Star at $37.60 can be a great deal of money for a pen and you may not want to invest that much, especially knowing you still need ink. But for that much, you could also get a Pilot Metropolitan and at least a dozen ink samples to test out and get a much larger variety in your writing experience. For the cost of the replacement nib for that same Lamy, which will slightly alter your writing experience, you could get 10 or so ink samples from different brands or with different properties that will broaden your horizons and show you how different inks behave. You can see how the ink reacts to different paper types and different nib sizes. These samples can also last through quite a few pages of writing, so you get a good long taste of the experience.

So, in the question of "is it better to have a variety of inks or pens?", your best bet is going to be to invest in 3-5 inexpensive pens that you enjoy writing with and focus on collecting between 20 and 40 ink samples so you can test ink across brands and settle in on some top contenders. Once you find your inks, then you can move on to next level pens. The key to remember is that you do not want to overwhelm yourself with options of pens and inks. Either stick to the same ink and buy lots of pens or stick to a few pens and go crazy with inks. This will help you define characteristics you like, piece by piece, so you get the full picture of your ideal pen and ink.

How did you get started in fountain pens? Lots of inks or lots of pens first?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Col-O-Ring Ink Testing Book

A few weeks ago, we added a very exciting new product to our catalogue on GouletPens.com. If you've ever had trouble keeping track of your inks or wanted an easy way to catalogue and compare color swabs, we have the product for you! Have you seen the new Col-O-Ring ink testing book on GouletPens.com but weren't sure how to use it? Check out this blog to learn more about this nifty notecard collection and how it can help you catalogue your ever-growing ink sample collection!

This sturdy ring-bound book features 100 sheets of 160g white paper and a heavy duty chipboard letter press cover and backing. This paper is resistant to bleed through and feathering, so your samples will look crisp and fresh. This will also leave you with a blemish-free back of each page for additional ink testing. The clip ring binding is removable, so you can add, remove, or rearrange samples.

The options for swabbing or testing your inks in this book are quite varied. You could choose to do writing samples as shown above. This will give you the chance to see how the ink performs in writing. Creating little drawings or sketches is a great way to test the ink out too. You could also do swabs of the ink using a cotton swab and use a dip pen to record the name of the ink. Maybe you even want to compare your inks, like the image below shows, so you can swab multiple colors side by side for a color comparison right in your book. Whatever way you choose, the Col-O-Ring will keep your ink tests safe and organized.

You can find the Col-O-Ring Ink Testing Book for $10 at GouletPens.com

How do you catalog your inks? Would you use a book like this?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Sneak Peek: J. Herbin 1798 Amethyste de l'Oural

Introducing the newest ink from J. Herbin, Amethyste de l'Oural!
It's been seven years since the first J. Herbin 1670 anniversary ink, Rouge Hematite was first released, followed by Bleu Ocean, Stormy Grey, Emerald of Chivor, and Caroube de Chypre. This new Amethyste de l'Oural is the first ink of a new collection called Jacques Herbin 1798.  

1798 commemorates a significant year in J. Herbin's history. At this time, the French Revolution was ending, and the Herbin company, founded in 1670, was growing.  In 1798 the company relocated to expand their production capabilities and the influence of their inks and sealing wax.

There are many similarities between the 1670 and 1798 collection. The two key differences are 1) the inclusion of silver shimmer instead of gold, and 2) the 50ml glass ink bottle now has a slightly wider neck for ease of filling your pen.

Amethyste de l'Oural means Ural Amethyst or Ural Mountain Amethyst, and suggests the color of royalty. This ancient amethyst gemstone from the gates of Asia was prized for its calming, meditative and lucid dreaming qualities.

The ink color is a deep rich purple in the velvety hue of a rare gemstone. A silver mist provides a lustrous shimmering effect.

It will be available in early September, in both bottles and samples. Sign up for our wait list on the product page to be notified via email as soon as it arrives!

What do you think of this new 1798 ink?

Write on,
Rachel Goulet

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