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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Robert Oster Peppermint: Ink Review



Hi everyone - Margaret here, back with a brand new ink review! I was out of the office when we launched the new Robert Oster ink collection, so I was very excited to get to test out the newly added color, Peppermint. I'm a fan of wet inks with good flow, so after asking my teammates about their experiences with these inks, I was ready to give Peppermint a go.


Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):
  • 30 seconds. This one took a bit longer to dry than I'm used to. At 20 seconds, you'll still see some smearing, but by 30 seconds, you should be safe.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):
  • Low- If water resistance is an important factor for you, keep looking. This one doesn't hold up to water very well.

Saturation:
  • Low - You can see a significant difference between swabs 1 and 2, and a slight difference between 2 and 3.

Ease of Cleaning:
  • Easy - This one is easy to clean, which is something that's really important to me. No trouble here.

Shading:
  • Medium - I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful shading I saw in this ink with the medium Lamy nib. I can only imagine how good it would look with a flex pen. Peppermint has some gorgeous red sheen to it!

Flow:
  • Medium- I liked the flow of this ink. It was easy and enjoyable to write with, especially on the Rhodia paper.

Packaging and Aesthetics:
  • I really like the bottle that Robert Oster inks come in. They look nice enough in my opinion to keep on your desk. The opening is narrow, but I wouldn't imagine it giving you any trouble when filling your pen. 
  • The ink is handmade in Australia, and the bottle is manufactured in Australia's first carbon neutral plastics plant.  












Inks similar in color:


Summary:
For me, this was a great introduction to the Robert Oster brand! If you're looking for a dark green ink with good flow and beautiful red sheen, I would highly recommend Peppermint. I could see this ink as a great choice to use during the winter for holiday cards. I could also see myself using it as an alternative to an everyday blue or black ink. It's an added bonus that you can get red sheen as well!

You can find Robert Oster Peppermint at GouletPens.com in a 50ml bottle for $16. You can also find it available in a 2ml sample for $1.50.

Have you had a chance to try an ink from the Robert Oster line yet? What did you think?

Write on, 
Margaret

Monday, February 27, 2017

Aurora Black with Faber-Castell Ambition Pearwood: Monday Matchup #131

Drawing of Yeah! Usher quote in Aurora Black ink and a Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen.

Hey, fountain pen friends. Whitney here with my matchup of the Faber-Castell Ambition Pearwood fountain pen and Aurora Black ink. I was excited to let Madigan choose a pen and ink pairing because she always does an amazing job picking pens and inks I love and are a perfect fit for me. She did not disappoint. Read on to hear more about my inspiration for this piece and my thoughts on this pen and ink.


After Madigan used her magical powers of pen choosing and handed me this combo with her goddess-like hands, I pondered the possibilities for my piece. I am a bit of a wise guy and I said to myself "Self, wouldn't it be funny to write popular rap or hip hop lyrics in the same style we write all of our other lovely and poetic quotes?" Yeah! by Usher is one of my favorite songs. Early 2000's top 40s hip hop is a great source of joy for me. I almost always dance and/or sing along when this song comes on. Also I found it pretty hilarious and ridiculous to attribute one word to a musical artist, but very much something I'd do.

I decided that I really wanted to go with a decorative style for my plan to be effective, so I looked to something reminiscent of the art deco/art nouveau style. I haven't done a flowery matchup recently so I thought it would be a good time to go back to that. I made mini mockups of the word, found a version I liked most, and traced it so I wouldn't mess up on camera. The flowers, however, I did completely freehand from reference images of flowers I looked up. I added a bit more depth to them with a water brush.

I really liked the Faber-Castell Ambition, especially the Pearwood color. It's got a nice weight and shape to it. Great for itsy-bitsy hands like mine. It has a classy look that I'm really drawn to as well, a smart looking pen, I'd say. The fine nib wrote nice and smooth, no scratchiness. The ink is lovely, a very classic black. I had no complaints. This pen and ink combo is perfect for everything. Write your grocery list with this pen and impress everyone at the farmer's market or grocery store. Write novels on the back of a (fountain pen friendly) napkin that puts the best author to shame. Use this pen to scribble down an inspired thought you can't bear to lose. Draw a small picture that your mom would be proud to hang on the fridge. Overall, this pen is swell.

Drawing of Yeah! Usher quote in Aurora Black ink and a Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen.
Drawing of Yeah! Usher quote in Aurora Black ink and a Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen.
Drawing of Yeah! Usher quote in Aurora Black ink and a Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen.
Drawing of Yeah! Usher quote in Aurora Black ink and a Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen.
Drawing of Yeah! Usher quote in Aurora Black ink and a Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen.

You can find the Faber-Castell Ambition Pearwood fountain pen at GouletPens.com for $120. Aurora Black is available in a 45ml bottle for $18 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.25, as well as a 5 pack of cartridges for $6.50. 

Follow the directions below for a chance to win this pen and 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, February 27, 2017 at 12pm EST until Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 12pm 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,
Whitney

Friday, February 24, 2017

Goulet Q&A Episode 157, Open Forum


Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.

In this episode, I talk about getting into nibmeistering, rules of pen etiquette, and the blackest of the black inks!

This week:
  • crazy warm weather here, lots of illness too

New/Upcoming Products: - (:53)


Pens/Writing - (1:41)

1) Karl K.- Facebook - (1:42)
Are there any hard and fast rules, i.e., do's and don'ts, regarding pen etiquette when someone asks to examine my fountain pen -- or my examining theirs? I am not sure I want someone "trying out" my pen. Would it endanger my nib?
  • there aren't really "hard and fast rules", it varies person-to-person
  • some people aren't comfortable lending their pens, ever
  • there's long-standing ideology that a nib is unique to your writing and anyone else writing with it could ruin it
  • I take a common-sense approach to it
  • if it's an inexpensive pen, give some basic instruction and give it to everyone!
  • if it's more expensive, only do it if you really trust the person, they'll understand
  • I instruct how to hold it, and don't write with a lot of pressure
  • It's the pressure thing that you most have to worry about
  • Usually if I can set it up right, I have people writing more cautiously than brazen
  • you have to determine what's comfortable for you and the individual you're sharing with

2) Melissa R.- Facebook - (5:39)
If you were to get a nib ground to something new that you've never tried before (I personally want to try an architect grind), what nib would you use? Something replaceable in case you didn't like the grind (like a Lamy nib or a Goulet nib) or something maybe less replaceable on a pen you love in hopes of ending up with a really awesome pen?
  • great question, there's definitely an element of risk involved here
  • this depends if you're risk-averse or reward-seeking
  • grind a cheaper nib if you suspect you may not like it, or have no idea, to limit your loss
  • go nuts on a more expensive pen if you expect to love it
  • a more known/expensive pen with a custom grind could have better resale value, too, if you really just don't like it
  • I'd strongly consider you get a pen that whatever nibmeister has worked on a lot or recommends for that grind
  • You can always reach out to whomever you'd like to do your grind and see what they recommend, because after all, it's very custom work

Ink - (9:20)

3) the_nice_devil- YouTube - (9:22)
Can you buy ink concentrate? is it possible to make ink powder and just put it in a bottle and just add water?
  • ink powder, not really- dye can be powder but is only one component of FP ink
  • other components used to make inks are liquid only, and couldn't easily be made into a powder
  • some fountain pen inks are more saturated than others, and can be diluted and still very usable as pen ink
  • Noodler's has very concentrated inks and often recommends diluting them to maximize their value

4) aga.wy- Instagram - (11:46)
Ink question: which is the darkest of them all? 

5) chinyan_pandya- Instagram- (13:53)
What are your thoughts on boiling the ink for a few seconds to evaporate some of the water and make it more saturated? Perhaps bring out a bit more of the sheen? Is it even possible? Waiting for your interesting insights! 
  • boiling? yikes, I don't think I'd want to do that, never tried though
  • technically, the water will evaporate just leaving the cap off for a while
  • will it bring out more sheen? That I don't really know, I don't think so
  • you can't squeeze blood out of a rock, if the ink doesn't sheen it won't sheen
  • putting down more ink will make it sheen more, and technically if you have less water that could get a similar effect...
  • I doubt ink that's evaporated enough to really make a difference in sheen would perform well in a pen, it'd probably write too dry and clog up
  • I've never tried it though, I'd be curious to test that out!

Business - (17:26)

6) Matthew M.- Facebook - (17:33)
Do ink manufacturers ever have a problem with you repackaging and selling the ink as samples?
  • nope! not at all, they think it's great! 
  • as an authorized retailer for all our brands, we are helping them out by getting their ink into as many people's pens as possible, and since the barrier to entry is lower with samples we can help with that
  • the samples combined with the Swab Shop is a big win for ink companies, and they are really appreciative of that exposure

7) Joshua W.- Email - (20:47)
I was wondering how it would be best to look into nibmeister work. I have done a little bit of antique watch repair at a friend's shop, nothing professional, but helped him out a bit, and working on fountain pens sounds like a similar vein of work. It doesn't seem like the kind of thing you could go take a course on, at least not here in the US. Any suggestions?
  • this is something I've been trying to figure out myself! 
  • there's definitely no school for it, and very limited information available in books, videos, or online
  • basically, there are a handful of people doing this work in the world, and they're all really really busy and not mentoring others a lot
  • it's really a trade/craft, and either needs to be passed down or learned through trail-and-error
  • pretty much, you can read some of the resources out there (Richard Binder is a good one) and get a bunch of cheap nibs and practice your little heart out
  • the only other alternative would be to link up with a pen company that does it in-house, and that's going to be VERY tough, especially as most of them are outside the US

QOTW: How do you feel about loaning your pen out to other people? What's your process? - (28:34)

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, February 23, 2017

Thursday Things: Black and White and Red All Over

A polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

What's black and white and red all over? You may want to say a newspaper but we've got a much more exciting answer this week! Thursday Things: Black and White and Red All Over is a fun and exciting collection of eye catching red, black, and white products ready to make your writing pop! Prepare yourself for an adventurous assortment of the writing variety.

Featured products from left to right:
Check out the Thursday Things: Black and White and Red All Over shopping guide to see all these playful products.

A Kaweco Skyline Sport Black in a polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Kaweco Skyline Sport Fountain Pen - Black
A red Lamy Safari in a polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen - Red 
A Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop Red polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop Fountain Pen - Red
A Jinhao x750 Frosted Black in a polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Jinhao x750 Fountain Pen - Frosted Black
A White Lamy Safari in a polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen - White
Noodler's Neponsets in a polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Noodler’s Neponset Fountain Pen - Black Python in Pearls and Noodler’s Neponset Fountain Pen - John Mung
A polka dot inspired flat lay of black, white, and red fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

What is your favorite dad joke to tell?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Why Did You Stop Writing?

Recently, I was given boxes full of my childhood memorabilia from my mother's attic.  I was surprised and delighted to find notebooks filled with my childhood ramblings, beginning in 3rd grade. There were cute stories, embarrassing love letters to crushes that were never sent, a few diary attempts, and some seriously angsty teenage poetry. As I read through it, I was impressed at my younger self's ability to put pen to paper and open up an introspective world through writing. And then it struck me- for the vast majority of my 20s, I didn't write at all

This is especially true of my college years, when writing felt like a chore to get through the countless classroom assignments. I was involved in campus groups, had a part-time job, and a full social calendar. Post-college, I was living abroad in South Korea and exploring seemed more important than spending time alone writing. Later, it was work, familiar obligations, friendships... as I got older, my life just seemed to be constantly on hyper drive. Looking back, it felt like something else was always more important than sitting down and putting pen to paper- a constant hustle to do more, see more, be more.


But is this constant go-go-go grind that seems to be so prevalent in this day and age a reality, or is it the choices that I'm making? Did my younger self simply have more time or was she just wiser with what she did with it? Could I make different choices and tap back into my more introspective and thoughtful self?


Strangely, fountain pens have been the impetus for reviving my love of writing. It seems silly- that a simple writing instrument could inspire me to turn back to something I loved so much when I was younger. Simply because I love feeling the way my fountain pen glides across the page, I started writing to-dos for work, making art for Monday Matchups, Bullet Journaling, and making home made cards for friends and family. I was able to tap into my creativity and reconnect with a part of myself that I didn't know was missing.


Flipping back through my 2016 journal, I'm able to get a grasp of the work I've done, the places I've been, and the exciting things I accomplished. It is physical proof of the progress and changes that have unfolded in the past year. For the first time in about 10 years, I have a written record of my life to look back on.

People talk about taking time, or making time, for the things that you love. I've found that sometimes it's making a small change to your daily habits that can change the balance of your day, and from there, your life. For me, finding fountain pens has been more than just a hobby- they have been a tool to help me enjoy my life at a deeper and more meaningful level.


I'd like to invite you to, yes, slow down, and think about it a moment. If you aren't currently taking time to write, why did you stop? Was it a conscious choice or did it simply fade away as other things crowded in for your time and attention?

If you did start writing again, how would that impact your life?

Maybe you should write about it.

Write on,
Madigan


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Introducing the Monteverde Gemstone Ink Collection!

Gemstone and crystal ink illustration drawn with Monteverde Gemstone Ink Collection.
Monteverde Gemstone Ink Collection
Have you been tempted and tantalized by the mysterious inks in our Coming Soon section, boasting such appealing new ink colors as Fireopal and Erinite? The suspense is over! Monteverde has just introduced a collection of 10 new ink colors, ready to take their place as the crown jewel of your ink collection.The Gemstone Ink Collection features gorgeous shades that mirror the hues of some of your most favorite glittering jewels.

Gemstone and crystal ink illustration drawn with Amethyst in the Monteverde Gemstone Ink Collection.
Monteverde Amethyst 

Monteverde Amethyst fountain pen ink.Monteverde Charoite fountain pen ink.

If blue or purple hues are what you desire, there quite a few to choose from. For a true blue, look no further than Sapphire, a gorgeous ink that gives the real sapphire a run for its money. For a shade that toes the line between purple and blue, check out Charoite. Lastly, if purple is the color that captures your heart, there is no better choice than Amethyst.

Gemstone and crystal ink illustration drawn with Garnet in the Monteverde Gemstone Ink Collection.
Monteverde Fireopal
Monteverde Ruby fountain pen ink.Monteverde Fireopal fountain pen ink.Monteverde Topaz fountain pen ink.Monteverde Garnet fountain pen ink.

Not to be outshone, the red/orange/pink category is also robustly filled out with a great selection of colors. While Ruby is the obvious choice for those looking for a bright red, Fireopal offers a very intriguing burnt orange/red option that is sure to fan the flames of inspiration for your next writing project. For a drop of sunny, sensational orange, you can't go wrong with Topaz. Or if a happy, rich magenta pink is what you seek, you'll feel quite satisfied with a bottle of Garnet!

Gemstone and crystal ink illustration drawn with Olivine in the Monteverde Gemstone Ink Collection.
Monteverde Olivine
Monteverde Moonstone fountain pen ink.Monteverde Olivine fountain pen ink.Monteverde Erinite fountain pen ink.

Finally, for those looking for a more reserved option or simply feeling the need for green, there are options for you as well! Moonstone, a subtle brown,  makes a great, understated work ink and pleasant change from standard black. Olivine could also make a great alternative for those more relaxed office environments where an olive green would be acceptable. But for the writer looking to really add some green panache to their writing, there is nothing like Erinite, a marvelous emerald green shade.
Monteverde Emerald Green
Although not actually part of the Gemstone collection, we cannot pass up the opportunity to shout out the gorgeous Emerald Green Monteverde has to offer. With a boatload of shading potential and a cheery color, this gem is another great ink for all purposes.
Gemstone and crystal ink illustration drawn with Monteverde Gemstone Ink Collection.
Monteverde Gemstone Ink Collection
We're pretty excited to be adding these lovely inks to our selection. You can find them at GouletPens.com in a 90ml bottle for $15 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.

What do you think? Have you found a clear favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Monday, February 20, 2017

Robert Oster Bondi Blue with a Nemosine Singularity Aqua Blue Fountain Pen: Monday Matchup #130

Illustration of a turquoise sea turtle with a William James quote that reads, "We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep." Drawn with a Nemosine Singularity fountain pen and Robert Oster Bondi Blue ink.

Hey there, fountain pen friends, Sarah here! For this week's matchup, I chose the beautiful Robert Oster Bondi Blue ink and Nemosine Singularity Aqua fountain pen. To match the sheen in the Bondi Blue, I added a Re-Entry nib in 0.6mm stub for its shimmery red and blue colors. Read on the hear about my experiences with this pen and ink!



My inspiration for this piece came from my longing for warm weather. The winter cold is wearing me down, so my thoughts keep drifting back to the warm weather in Puerto Rico, where my husband and I went for our honeymoon recently. One day, when we were surfing, a sea turtle bobbed up and down through the clear turquoise waves right beside us. I had never seen a sea turtle so close up and it left a profound impression on me. I knew I wanted to draw a sea turtle because that moment immediately came to mind when I inked up the Aqua pen with the Bondi Blue.

I began the piece by first studying actual photos of sea turtles to get an idea for what their skin texture looked like. I then lightly sketched out the outline in pencil. I filled a water brush pen with water and dipped it into the cap of the bottle to soak the tip with a little bit of ink. I started laying down the color in big shapes, dipping into the cap each time I needed to add more ink for darker areas. I used the fountain pen to outline the turtle and add details as I went, switching between the water brush pen and the fountain pen.

The Bondi Blue ink dried beautifully, with some red sheen around the edges. I really tried to show the shading and qualities of the ink by using the water brush pen and it definitely worked. It was really enjoyable to see the range of how light and dark the ink can get. The Nemosine Singularity felt great in hand and was lightweight. The 0.6mm stub nib was perfect for showing off the ink, though I found it to write a little dry. Perhaps some light micromesh tuning or a wetter ink would benefit the flow. I wouldn't change a thing about this matchup though. This combo would be great for writing a card to someone or journaling. The stub nib adds some nice line variation and makes it look a little special.
Illustration of a turquoise sea turtle with a William James quote that reads, "We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep." Drawn with a Nemosine Singularity fountain pen and Robert Oster Bondi Blue ink.
Illustration of a turquoise sea turtle with a William James quote that reads, "We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep." Drawn with a Nemosine Singularity fountain pen and Robert Oster Bondi Blue ink.
Illustration of a turquoise sea turtle with a William James quote that reads, "We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep." Drawn with a Nemosine Singularity fountain pen and Robert Oster Bondi Blue ink.
Illustration of a turquoise sea turtle with a William James quote that reads, "We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep." Drawn with a Nemosine Singularity fountain pen and Robert Oster Bondi Blue ink.
Illustration of a turquoise sea turtle with a William James quote that reads, "We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep." Drawn with a Nemosine Singularity fountain pen and Robert Oster Bondi Blue ink.
You can find the Nemosine Singularity in Aqua at GouletPens.com for $19.99. Robert Oster Bondi Blue is available in a 50ml bottle for $16 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.50. 

Follow the directions below for a chance to win this pen and 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, February 20, 2017 at 12pm EST until Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 12pm 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.

What is your favorite sheening ink?

Write on,
Sarah

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