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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

What Shapes Do Fountain Pens Come In?


Fountain pens come in just about any and every size or shape imaginable. With this great variety, there is sure to be a pen that appeals to every fountain pen fan's style. But are there really that many definite different groups that fountain pen shapes can be broken down into? In this slice from Q&A episode 169, Brian tackles the question about pen shapes outside of the standard round/cigar shape. Read on below to hear his take on shapes he considers most common and recognizable.


 

Cigar Shape

This is definitely the most common shape for a pen and probably the most classic fountain pen look. Pens in the cigar shape have a straight body down the middle and the ends are usually rounded or curved. These pens very much resemble a rolled cigar. One classic example of this is the Aurora 88.

Torpedo

The Torpedo shape is quite similar to a cigar shape, but with one strong difference. Torpedo shapes pens have the straight, clean lines through the middle of the body, but they come to a sharp point at each end, like the Edison Nouveau Premiere, or are sharply tapered, like the Lamy 2000.

Flat Top

Another classic style pen shape is the flat top. These pens have a larger, more prominent cap and a smaller body. There is a noticeable step between the cap and pen body when the pen is capped. These pens are characterized by their straight, flat top of their caps. The Conklin Duragraph and Conklin Nighthawk are both great examples of this.

Baseball Bat

This shape is a bit unusual, a seemingly classic style with a twist. Baseball bat shaped pens have a larger, more prominent cap and a very tapered body. They resemble a baseball bat that is smaller near the one end and flared out drastically towards the end. Brian's example of this is the Delta Amalfi, but the Monteverde Invincia could also be a decent example of this.

Tube

Tube shaped fountain pens are another clean shape option. These pens resemble a straw with their straight, streamlined bodied. The cap and pen body flow together in one straight line with no breaks. The Lamy CP1, Kaweco Liliput, and Lamy Logo are good examples of this type of pen.

Bullet Pen


These tiny pens are perfect from the pocket or bag. They are grab-and-go small and easy to carry. The bullet pen becomes a very manageable size when the cap is closed, but can be very comfortable to write with when posted. They are the best travel pens and are much loved daily carry pens. Some examples would be the Kaweco Sport or the Stipula Passaporto.

Faceted Pens

Faceted pens are probably the most diverse group on this list. These pens are designed to have geometric shaped bodies with various numbers of sides and facet faces. It could be as simple as a triangle shape like the Pelikan Twist, or the hexagonal shape of the Caran d'Ache 849, or the squared circle shape of the Visconti Opera Master. They pens can be a fun way to add some texture and excitement to your pen case.

The shapes listed above aren't an extensive list of all that's available. Pen companies are consistently introducing new pens in exciting new designs and shapes. But these are some of the most common shapes we have identified.

Do you have a favorite pen shape? Let us know in the comments below!

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Monday, September 18, 2017

Diamine Espresso with a Caran d'Ache 849 Green Fluo: Monday Matchup #156

Hazelnut Mocha recipe drawn with a Caran d'Ache 849 Green Fluo fountain pen and Diamine Espresso ink.

Hi, all! I'm Zippy, the Customer Returns Specialist here at Goulet Pens, and I'm excited to bring you my matchup of the Caran d'Ache 849 and Diamine Espresso today. I was very excited to get to try out this newly released pen and, as an avid coffee drinker, any ink called Espresso is fine by me! Read on to hear if this pen and ink lived up to my hype.

The weather here in Virginia is getting cooler and it's FINALLY becoming the time that everyone's minds turn to thoughts of nice warm beverages. I wanted to take that notion and run with it for this piece. I grabbed the Anthracite Grey Leuchtturm1917 A5 Dot Grid Notebook to create my piece. I liked how the Ivory paper contrasted against the brown ink and I felt the dots would be super helpful for spatial planning with the recipe. I started by writing out the ingredients list, then I drew in the coffee cup and steam, finally I added on the instructions. I found it worked best from top of the page to bottom so I didn't mess up. To create the smudged look on the drawing, I dotted the ink on the page with the pen then swiped over it with a cotton swab. If I were to do this piece again, I would probably try to play around with the shading of this ink. My initial thought is that this wouldn't make a great shading ink, but the fact that it dried lighter tells me that it might have more to offer than I originally thought.

I enjoyed using this pen and ink. I wasn't a fan of the grip of the 849 because it had a step between the grip and body. The weight of the pen and smoothness of the nib were perfection however. I honestly think I could get used to this grip for that writing experience. The ink was very wet. It didn't dry super fast, which was good for being able to smear it, but it dried quickly enough to be good for an everyday writing ink. I did find it dries a bit lighter than when it's initially put down. Anything that you want to be super dark or filled in would need to be gone over a second time. But as far as writing goes, it went down dark and stayed dark after drying.

I think this pen would be great for work or school. The green is a bit bright so it might not be the best in a professional setting but it also comes in other, more reserved colors that would work. It would be great for jotting down notes and stuff. If you are into brown inks, I think this ink would be great for everyday writing. Journaling and letter writing on an ivory or cream paper would look gorgeous. It would work just fine in a school or professional setting if brown inks are allowed. It is well behaved and I would consider it extremely versatile in its use. Again, it's not the fastest drying so I wouldn't use it in a setting where you're going to be on the go and need to open and close your notebook constantly, but other than that, it's great!

Hazelnut Mocha recipe drawn with a Caran d'Ache 849 Green Fluo fountain pen and Diamine Espresso ink.
Hazelnut Mocha recipe drawn with a Caran d'Ache 849 Green Fluo fountain pen and Diamine Espresso ink.
Hazelnut Mocha recipe drawn with a Caran d'Ache 849 Green Fluo fountain pen and Diamine Espresso ink.
Hazelnut Mocha recipe drawn with a Caran d'Ache 849 Green Fluo fountain pen and Diamine Espresso ink.
Hazelnut Mocha recipe drawn with a Caran d'Ache 849 Green Fluo fountain pen and Diamine Espresso ink.

You can find the Caran d'Ache 849 at GouletPens.com for $52. Diamine Espresso is availabe in a 40ml bottle for $15.95 or a 2ml sample for $1.75

Want to enter for your chance to win this great duo? Check out the Monday Matchup Giveaway rules 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, September 18, 2017 at 12 pm EST until Tuesday, September 19, 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,
Zippy

Friday, September 15, 2017

Goulet Q&A Episode 182: Updating Goulet Videos, Permanent Inks, and Why Flex Nibs Aren't Finer



In this episode, I talk about updating old videos, risk of NOT using permanent inks, and why flex fountain pen nibs aren't as fine as dip calligraphy nibs. 

This week:

Pens/Writing

1) @franzjpm- Twitter  (12:09)
Will you ever release an updated version of the top 5 starter pens video?
  • I've thought about updating it, been asked this question before
  • truth be told, I think the video still holds pretty solid
  • are there others that could be included on this list, sure
  • TWSBI Eco would be the one pen I'd really consider adding in
  • What would I take out though? I LOVE the Eco, and think it's a great pen, but I don't know that it'd oust any of my original top 5! It'd be a definite #6
  • Nemosine Singularity
  • Pilot Kakuno
  • Kaweco Perkeo (once it proves itself)
  • Faber-Castell Loom
  • It brings up a bigger question, when should I consider redoing videos? It's honestly not often that top lists I choose get outdated, though sometimes things get discontinued
  • If there's a top 5 or 7 list and one or two things change, is that worth a total redo?
  • I could see doing a "top x list of the year" or something like that, intentionally make it refresh

2) j_drag_o- Instagram (18:10)
I'm looking for a good pen for school under $100. I already know about the Metropolitan, Safari, al Star, Twsbi eco, etc. What would you recommend, maybe a matching ink?

3) Bill D.- Email (21:43)
I've seen only one mention about cleaning a new nib before using to remove manufacturers' coatings to prevent poor ink flow. Could you please speak about this on one of you Q&A videos? Also, cover the tip about NOT handling the nibs with your bare fingers to prevent skin oils from contaminating the nib which could lead to poor flow. I've seen this matter covered extensively on calligraphy videos on other channels.
  • if you're coming over from the calligraphy world, this is a common practice, because you're dealing with very inexpensive nibs that are steel, not stainless steel like fountain pen nibs (or gold, for more expensive pens)
  • calligraphy nib manufacturers put coatings on the steel nibs to prevent rust, and that coating impedes ink flow and needs to be cleaned off in order to be used 
  • fountain pen nibs don't have any type of coating on it, so they don't necessarily have to be cleaned in order to function "out of the box"
  • that said, it's still a good practice to flush a fountain pen before you clean it, because there could be machining oils, bits of debris left over from manufacturing
  • many pen companies clean their pens from the factor anyway, so even this isn't always a requirement, but it's good practice

4) christineIsloc- Instagram (24:50)
Why don't the steel flex nibs out there have narrower unflexed points? The ones I've used seem equivalent to a medium nib (Noodler's, etc). Calligraphy nibs, on the other hand, go almost needle-like. Is there a reason this is the case, to last longer? Which flex nib that you carry has the narrowest point?
  • it doesn't have to be the case, for sure
  • a fountain pen nib can be ground down every bit as fine as any calligraphy nib
  • calligraphy nibs are significantly less expensive, made of "regular" steel maybe with a chrome coating, and don't have tipping material on them
  • essentially, they're disposable, so they don't have to last nearly as long as a fountain pen
  • you will throw out a calligraphy nib from rusting or bending long before you'll actually wear away the tip from long-term use
  • if you have a needle point fountain pen that sees heavy use, the tipping will wear away sooner than a larger tip nib (because there's less surface area) and you'll need a replacement
  • really thin nibs also feel really scratchy, which might be acceptable when doing calligraphy because you're often doing that in a really controlled environment
  • fountain pens are made to be more portable, and when writing "on the go", speed and feel of writing matter more
  • this conversation of calligraphy vs flex fountain pen nibs is something that's become more of a conversation recently, especially as low-cost accessible flex fountain pens have come to market (like Noodler's)
  • with historically rare (vintage) flex fountain pens or newer, expensive custom or limited edition flex pens longevity has mattered more than hairlines
  • the pen that we have is the Pilot Falcon soft extra-fine, but it's just that....soft, not "technically" a flex though that's what it's known for
  • aside from that, it'd be Noodler's

5) jiyonglovesbeer- Instagram (34:18)
I believe there hasnt yet been any intensive reviews on CARTRIDGE INKS. As i travel a LOT(BECAUSE OF work) i happen to prefer cartridges than bottled ink. I might not be the only one. OR I might be THE only one who hasnt seen those cartridge reviews.
  • I am willing to bet most of the reason for that is because most inks are available in both bottles and cartridges, and bottles are just more popular
  • the vast majority of hardcore fountain pen enthusiasts (which pretty much all pen reviewers would consider themselves to be) prefer bottles because they look nice, are more economical, and you can use the ink in any variety of pens (not limited by a proprietary cartridge format)
  • cartridges are what they are...you don't get a choice about them, because you buy whatever fits the pen...you get some color variation, but it's usually a lot more limited than bottles
  • and since the ink is often available in both...
  • I also think because cartridges are cheaper, people are more inclined to just buy them, and don't do as much research on them thus less of a desire for reviews


6) manojpvr- Instagram (39:45)
Will the inks which are not advertised as permanent disappear one fine morning?
  • haha, no, it won't be like the disappearing ink you may have used as a kid as a joke
  • any disappearance would happen over time by UV exposure or paper degradation
  • you can buy UV-resistant inks, options are much more limited though
  • water exposure could be another thing, that's often more of the risk
  • the truth is, unless you meet some rather extreme circumstance like dropping your notebook into a body of water or leaving your notebook baking in the sun for months, you don't "need" permanent ink
  • permanent ink is best for using for important documents or long-term storage writing like memoirs, journals, etc


Business

7) chintan_pandya- Instagram (44:50)
Since the Goulet Pen Company has already contributed so much to the FP community. Once you grow even more, would you consider hosting introductory FP workshops in collaboration with schools or something similar to promote hand writing and fountain pens in the future? Now that the education system itself is gradually doing away with hand writing totally and switching to typing, and even digital textbooks, I believe it is going down the rabbit hole of over reliance on technology.
  • there's a lot we could unpack here, and I don't want to fall down a rabbit hole, especially on the whole reliance on technology thing
  • first, thank you for the compliments!
  • we haven't seriously considered hosting local workshops or anything, mainly because we're just not skilled for that
  • we're not teachers, handwriting experts, or anything like that
  • we know pens, customer service, fulfillment, product education...but in terms of teaching handwriting (to kids esp) we're quite unqualified
  • now we could certainly look to partner up with schools or teachers or organizations that already do this sort of thing, and that's something for us to contemplate for the future, indeed
  • truth be told, our influence is likely to be greater valued in the online community, and that is our mission statement, so we will always look to serve in this capacity first

QOTW: If you had your choice to have me update any older Goulet video, what would it be? (51:33)


Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thursday Things: Neon Glow

A bright, neon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

Burst onto the writing scene with a barrage of color. Thursday Things: Neon Glow is an in-your-face assortment of awesome writing tools to make your creativity jump off of the page. Whether you're looking for a bold new pen, a daring ink, or a notebook that just calls out to you with its loud hue, this collection is sure to have a piece for you. Snag the perfect thing to pep up your writing in Thursday Things: Neon Glow.

Featured products from left to right:

Platinum Preppy Highlighters in a bright, neon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Platinum Preppy Highlighters - Green, Orange, Yellow, Pink, Blue
Caran d'Ache Orange Fluo 849 in a bright, neon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Caran d’Ache 849 Fountain Pen - Orange Fluo
Jinhao 159 Green in a bright, neon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Jinhao 159 Fountain Pen - Green
Kaweco Perkeo Bad Taste in a bright, neon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Kaweco Perkeo Fountain Pen - Bad Taste
A bright, neon inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

Do you like brightly colored pens or more reserved colors?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Introducing Caran d'Ache 849 Fountain Pens!


If you're looking for a fountain pen that's unlike the rest, we've got the pen for you! Maybe you're looking for one in a color that really stands out or a pen that's durably constructed so you can take it anywhere. Introducing the new Caran d'Ache 849 fountain pen! Read on to learn more about these new and colorful pens.


Modeled on the design of the sleek and trusted Caran d'Ache 849 ballpoint pens, these new fountain pens are an exciting addition to the line. They're constructed of durable aluminum and are manufactured in Switzerland. The body and cap of the pen share a distinct hexagonal shape. Choose from the more reserved black, blue, or white options or go for the bright and bold green, pink, orange, or yellow pens if you really want to add some pop to your pen case. The Caran d'Ache 849 fountain pens are available with Extra Fine, Fine, or Medium stainless steel nib sizes. Each pen includes one Chromatic ink cartridge, as well as a Standard International converter, packaged neatly in a red and white gift box.

The Caran d'Ache 849 fountain pens are available for $52 at GouletPens.com. Check them out in Black, Blue, Green Fluo, Orange Fluo, Pink Fluo, White, and Yellow Fluo.


Which color strikes you?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Lamy Oblique and Left-Handed Nibs, What's Their Deal??


One of the things we really appreciate about fountain pens here at Goulet is the ability to choose different nib sizes that can make our writing look different on the page. While most pen companies offer a fairly standard offering such as extra-fine, fine, medium, etc, there are a whole host of specialty nib grinds that are available for an even more nuanced writing experience. If you know exactly what you want and are willing to pay a nibmeister to grind it for you, there are a myriad of options available to you, though these are seldom economical options for those who are just starting out.

That's why we were so excited when we found out we could get our hands on some Lamy specialty nibs, such as the Oblique Medium, Oblique Broad, and Left-Handed nibs. These are standard stainless steel Lamy nibs that fit on all of the Lamy steel-nib pens such as the Safari, Al-Star, Vista, Joy, CP1, Logo, Studio, Nexx, Lx, ABC, Aion and others. What's special about these nibs is the grind at the tip. Given that these nibs are the same price as regularly offered Lamy steel nibs, it's the most economical way to try out these specialty grinds. So let's check them each out:

Left-Handed (LH):

We actually carried these for a very brief period a couple of years ago, so we are pretty familiar with the way these work. It's essentially a Lamy medium nib, but it's ground at a slightly steeper angle and a little more rounded, so that the nib writes more reliably in a "push" motion, as you would do when writing left-handed.


Now one thing about lefties is they tend to have a very wide variety of hand positions, and this can really provide a varied writing experience when lumping all "lefties" into one group. We break these all down in our FP101: Fountain Pens for Lefties video. So it needs to be said that some lefties will find the Lamy LH nib to be helpful, others will not notice a big difference between it and a regular medium nib. In fact, we have two lefties on the Goulet Pens team, Lydia and Katy. Lydia loves it and noticed a big difference, Katy, not so much. A lot of it will depend on your specific hand position, angle, and rotation of the pen in your hand.

What in the world is an oblique?


Obliques are interesting nibs, and we give an overview of them in our FP101 Nib Sizes and Grinds. Essentially, it's like a conventional round nib that's ground flat at an angle. Why would you want this? It's really for people who rotate the pen in their hand as they write. The nibs can be ground slanting down to the left (left-foot oblique, named after the shape of your left foot) or to the right (right-foot oblique). The Lamy LH nibs are ground as a left-foot oblique, meaning they'll be most comfortable for right-handers who are rotating their pens counter-clockwise, or towards themselves. It's a little confusing, yes. And how in the world to you assess if you even need one of these nibs? Well, that's been the tough part, and why pretty much no fountain pen company offers oblique nibs (with the exception of some higher-end brands like Pelikan by special order).

They're just not in high demand these days. Which is what makes these nibs so interesting, for $13 you basically get to try an oblique nib and see if it's anything that helps your writing. If not, well, then you have a cool and interesting spare nib with minimal investment. If you love it, then hey, it may be worth it for you to look into a special order or custom nib grind.

 

Oblique Medium (OM):

This is a Lamy medium nib ground with a left-foot oblique, ideal for righties rotating the pen in their hand counter-clockwise. There's ever-so-slightly a bit of line variation that can occur, but it's really very subtle and shouldn't probably be your main motivation in buying this nib. The nib is not gushing wet, so it's not quite as forgiving as the oblique broad. It will take a little practice to get the hang of this one, as it has kind of a "sweet spot".

Oblique Broad (OB):

This is a Lamy broad nib ground with a left-foot oblique. Like the medium, it's ideal for righties rotating the pen counter-clockwise in their hand. There's a bit more line variation with this nib, especially if you hold it at just the right spot. This nib is wetter and a bit more forgiving, though the line is much thicker and thus your writing will need to be larger.

All of these nibs need to be considered as "specialty grinds", which means that not everyone will notice or appreciate the subtleties of these grinds. It's best to set your expectations to be realistic, that it will take some getting used to and that it may not make that much of a difference for you using them if you don't hold your pen in such a way that it really benefits from the grinds. But if you suspect that you may benefit from them or are just curious to try them out as a way to expand your own writing experience, there's really no better opportunity to do it than these Lamy nibs. Be sure to check out writing samples of them in our Nib Nook tool on our site, too.

We have them available in silver and black at GouletPens.com as standalone nibs (not available on pens) for $14. These nibs are ones we've purchased as a test batch, and if they are well-received and in good demand we will look to carry them ongoing. Otherwise, we will sell the relatively small amount we have and not look to reorder. Do please give us your feedback!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

7 Ways to Re-use Empty Ink Bottles


Have you ever looked at the bottles that your fountain pen ink comes in and wished you could re-purpose them after the ink runs out? The variety of shapes and sizes is nearly endless, so it's almost guaranteed you can find a new life for your bottles with a little creativity! Read on below for some of our suggestions for reusing your empty ink bottles.


To begin, you'll want to clean out the bottle before using them for any projects. There will be traces of ink still in the bottle. Add a drop of dish soap and shake it with a bit of water inside a closed off bottle to remove ink. Flush through with water until all the soap is gone and then leave your bottles upside down on a towel to dry. You can also soak your bottles if you'd like to remove the labels. Now you're ready for one of the many fun ink bottle uses below!

Desk Storage


Surely, you've got all kinds of knicknacks and small items floating around your desk. Round up those paper clips or push pins and stow them away in an appealing vessel. The ink bottles allow for easy access to these items, while keeping them contained.

Wedding Favor


Send your guests home with a one-of-a-kind momento. You can personalize each bottle with a custom label with your names, monogram, date, or anything else special you might want to include. Add some candy or a simple flower and you've got a great and unique favor!

Decorative Bud Vase


You can brighten up any table or desk space with your ink-bottle-turned-bud-vase. Once you've cleaned the bottle out, it makes the ideal home for some cheery little blooms and buds.

Jewelry/Bobby Pin Holder


How often do your bobby pins and hair accessories seem to disappear into thin air? Keep them collected and contained in one spot by repurposing an empty ink bottle! Especially with some of the larger capacity bottles, you will have plenty of space to stow away pins, clips, and hair ties for safe keeping until you need them again.

Tiny Planter


Test out a clean empty ink bottle as a tiny terrarium for a petite plant!  It is the perfect size for a little sprout to add some greenery to your desk. Put an ink bottle to use for propagating a new plant. Place a clipping into your ink bottle with some water and watch your plant shoot up, much like your inspiration to write with your pens.

Essential Oil Reed Diffuser


The power of smell has a strong connection to your mood. Surround yourself with calming vibes and create a serene space by making your own diffuser with some reeds and essential oils. Fill the empty ink bottle with your favorite scents and soak your reeds. Soon, you'll have a refreshing aroma all around you.

Recycle Them!


The more you can recycle in this world, the better. If you have no use for the previous ideas, you can still give your empty ink bottles a second life by recycling them to be reused in another way. Most recycling programs should take clean ink bottles, just as they would empty soda bottles.



If you don't have any empty bottles laying around at home, you can also find some for purchase on our site! Check out our selection of empty ink bottles. How do you reuse your empty ink bottles? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Monday, September 11, 2017

Platinum Citrus Black with a Conklin Nighthawk Brass Fountain Pen: Monday Matchup #155

Gingko leaf illustration with a Conklin Nighthawk Brass Fountain Pen and Platinum Citrus Black ink.

Hello there, Sarah here! I'm very excited to share my combo for this week, the new limited edition Conklin Nighthawk Brass fountain pen and new Platinum Classic Citrus Black ink. I fell in love with both this pen and the ink. Also, even though I've been at Goulet for years, I have never had the chance to try a Goulet nib. I was curious to use this Conklin exclusive because it has a Goulet nib already installed on it. The Platinum ink is fascinating and had a magical intrigue to me because it goes from light to dark as it dries. Read on to hear about my thoughts on this pair.

My inspiration for the piece came from the row of Ginko trees that lined the street outside of my former apartment. There was a brief window of time in the fall when the WHOLE street would appear to be covered in gold from the fallen Ginko leaves. I loved to walk up and down that street and admire the ways the shapes of the leaves contrasted against the ground. The distinct edges would form a very artistic pattern when the gold leaves layered on top of each other. I felt the quote from A.A. Milne matched my sentiment.

I started my composition by sketching each leaf one by one. I didn't want the drawing to feel too stiff. There was an effect of falling leaves I wanted to achieve, so I tried to make the shapes feel fluid and like they had movement. After penning the initial shapes and lines of the leaves, I took a brush pen filled with water and ran it over the inside of the leaves. This method spread a little color from the lines, but the lines were resistant enough not to blur and disappear under the water.

The pen was a bit heavy but I didn't mind. I realized it was a beast when posted, so I chose to use it unposted and it felt pretty well balanced. The smooth matte finish of the brass was a nice texture. I'm not normally drawn to metal pens, but I loved this one because of how durable it felt. This pen is a solid go-to for any situation because the nib is so reliable. If your hand gets tired easily, just keep the weight of this pen in mind before you choose to try this pen. It may not be the one for you. If I were to do this again, I would have chosen a broader nib. The Fine is great and smooth, but I prefer a thicker line.

The Platinum Classic Citrus Black ink is possibly one of my favorite inks at the moment. The ink appears to be a neon yellow at first and deepens to a rich gold with a slight tint of green over the course of a few minutes. The photographs were taken days after the piece was drawn so you can see that this is probably about as deep as the color will get. In the video, you can see how it darkens over a few minutes, especially when writing out the quote. Since the ink is hard to read until it's fully dry, I wouldn't recommend it for fast notetaking. I tried to use it in a meeting and I had a hard time seeing what I was writing. However, this would be the perfect ink for journaling or correspondance if you are doing some slow and thoughtful writing. The color can't be beat and  the water resistance is a perk for longevity.


Gingko leaf illustration with a Conklin Nighthawk Brass Fountain Pen and Platinum Citrus Black ink.
Gingko leaf illustration with a Conklin Nighthawk Brass Fountain Pen and Platinum Citrus Black ink.
Gingko leaf illustration with a Conklin Nighthawk Brass Fountain Pen and Platinum Citrus Black ink.
Gingko leaf illustration with a Conklin Nighthawk Brass Fountain Pen and Platinum Citrus Black ink.

You can find the Conklin Nighthawk Brass at GouletPens.com for $100. Platinum Classic Citrus Black is available in a 60ml bottle for $25 or a 2ml sample for $1.75.

Want to enter for your chance to win this great duo? Check out the Monday Matchup Giveaway rules 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, September 11, 2017 at 12 pm EST until Tuesday, September 12, 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,
Sarah

Friday, September 8, 2017

Goulet Q&A Episode 181: The Goulet Pens Move, Why Some Nibs Don't Swap, and Print vs. Cursive!



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 what it was like to move Goulet Pens, why some pens don't have swappable nibs, and whether print or cursive is better for fountain pens!

The move:
  • The move, obviously a huge huge deal
  • DC pen show happened the weekend before we moved
  • got to meet and interview Jake Weidmann, huge personal high for me
  • met tons of amazing people, it was a pretty big whirlwind
  • the week of the move was simply a blur
  • we'd been planning for 18 months, and it all came down to a couple of days
  • we didn't get our final inspection on our new space until 6 days before we moved!
  • we had a designer, contractor, 3 subs for IT stuff, moving consultant, and moving company
  • we intentionally withheld even mentioning the move until it was all locked in stone
  • original move date was March, then July, then August
  • Weeks prior we were splitting our time between both places, spread very thin
  • our team was simply awesome though, morale was (and is) through the roof
  • the new space is just awesome, it feels so intentional 
  • I will show it in due time, we're waiting on some key design elements to still be installed
  • talked about doing a full tour in Ep 200, which would be middle/end of Jan, kind of a ways away but that'd be latest
Now and the future:
  • Rachel and I took the last week off, pretty much just hit a wall
  • still sorting out how we're doing, but basically the stress and pressure was so great leading up and through the move that we're still coming down off it
  • my weight has hit a new post-weight loss high of 235, and I want to get back on track
  • 205-210 is where I really felt most myself, and I want to get back there
  • we have some new hires that we're looking to bring in, including a videographer
  • we're in-between videographers right now so videos will basically be at a standstill except for Q&A
  • I'm editing Q&A myself so it's going to be very, very minimal
  • please forgive any technical snafus or shortcuts, it's the best we can do for the moment!
  • our kids just started school, and we have both in elementary school now
  • we're feeling a whole lot of feels now, adjusting to a new routine for the Goulet family
Products!

Moving

1) Stu E.- Facebook (42:30)
Did you get a bigger office in the move?
  • yes! the whole office and my own office
  • little Brian's office tour
  • full tour coming down the road

2) lhlvieira- Instagram (46:45)
What are you all loving most about your new space? Is there anything you miss about the old one? Congratulations on what I hope was a smooth move.
  • loving: 
    • more room
    • more intentional design/layout that fits our culture
    • glass in doors
    • sound masking
    • spaces flow together more
    • conveyor
    • all air conditioned
    • clean!
    • all on one level!
    • more bathrooms!
    • nice kitchen!
    • deli on premesis
    • shade and walking areas
    • closer commute for most of our team
  • miss:
    • memories made, Goulet kids were there
    • was closer commute for Goulets
    • closer together, felt scrappier and more intimate
    • cheaper!
    • good landlord


Pens/Writing 
3) dragonflies0210- Instagram (54:28)
Silly question as I am new to the fountain pen world.... do most people print or write in cursive with their fountain pens. Also, is there any potential damage to nibs when printing?
  • It's probably fairly split, I have no real data on who does what
  • I personally felt more inclined to write cursive with FP's
  • cursive definitely takes more advantage of the smooth flowing nature of FP's
  • plenty of people write in block though
  • block print doesn't cause any more damage than any other script, unless you're writing with excessive pressure (but you can do that with any script)

4) mad_betes_312- Instagram (56:18)
Why do some companies design and manufacturer pens without removal, interchangeable nibs I.e. My Pilot Custom Heritage 92. I would use it more often and by numerous other nibs if I had the option but I'll never fork over the money for an identical pen in another nib size. Thx!
  • it's really a matter of the company's preference and what they aim to do with a given pen model
  • Pilot in general doesn't like to do "parts", which makes sense given their size
  • they do VP nib units, though
  • TWSBI is a very small fraction of their size, so they can be more accommodating here
  • it's not super common to have swappable nibs, and I think only fairly recently has nib swapping become more of a trend
  • price point matters a lot, too, swappable nibs are super uncommon with gold nibs like the Custom 92
  • it's a logistical complication for large, especially international companies to pull off
  • I encourage all brands to try to do it if they can! It really helps newer folks getting into the hobby

Business

5) chudfumpy- Instagram (1:00:08)
Hi Brian, with the expansion to larger premises, do you have any aspirations to venture into other fountain pen related products? I recently stumbled across a double ended fountain pen for instance.
  • I'm always looking for fountain pen related products, and a larger space will certainly accommodate more expansion in the future
  • the only double-ended FP's I've seen have been custom (so not available to a retailer like us), but that sounds cool
  • yes, I will definitely look to carry more and cooler stuff!

6) Mike W.- Facebook (1:01:47)
How much business experience did you have before taking the plunge? Did your parents mentor you with their business? Did you learn from all those books, and flying by the seat of your pants? You, Rachel, and the rest of the crew have done a great job of growing your company.
  • I wasn't one of those kids picking flowers out of their neighbors gardens and knocking on their doors to sell them back to them, or anything like that
  • My parents had a business in the house when I was a kid
  • they did it more for lifestyle than from a real, solid economic opportunity
  • they did teach me a lot of principles of working hard, saving money, and seizing opportunities in their business
  • they taught me a lot of really solid principles in life, which I certainly apply to the way I do business
  • "Work Hard, Be Honest, Be Flexible"- came from my parents
  • I did my own sole proprietorship in college to help pay my way through school
  • I 100% learn a lot from the books I read, otherwise I don't waste my time
  • some certainly resonate more than others, some the timing just isn't right or I don't completely see eye-to-eye with the author
  • I read them all for practicality though, and they ALL have to be heavily interpreted into this business and what makes sense
  • there's a pretty hefty amount of flying by the seat of our pants around here, though we spend more time planning than we used to
  • we have more of a history, so that helps, early days was all seat-pants
  • now it's more about spending time creating a vision for the future and building towards it, but there are always audibles to be called along the way

QOTW: Which do you prefer, print or cursive? (1:15:04)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Thursday Things: Kitchen Creations

A culinary inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

We've whipped up some treats for you today in the form of a savory selection of fountain pens, inks, and accessories. Whether you're jotting down recipes, crafting some creative magic, or cooking up a plan to tackle another day, we've got the ingredients for perfect writing. Thursday Things: Kitchen Creations assembles the right ratio of perfect pens, enticing inks, and appropriate accessories, resulting in a masterpiece of writing inspiration. Enjoy!

Featured products from left to right:

A culinary inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen - Black
A culinary inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Kaweco Classic Sport Fountain Pen - Green
A culinary inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Kaweco Classic Sport Fountain Pen - Bordeaux
A culinary inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Karas Kustoms Fountain K Fountain Pen - Red Aluminum
A culinary inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Kaweco Classic Sport Fountain Pen - Green
A culinary inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

What's your favorite fall recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

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