Friday, March 31, 2017

Goulet Q&A Episode 162, Next NEXT Level Pens, and What Pens Aren't Available But Should Be!

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 next NEXT level pens, and what pens aren't available, but should be!

This week:
  • Physical inventory coming
  • Attending Butterfly Ball with my daughter

New/Upcoming Products: - (3:19)

Pens/Writing - (6:17)

1) Ulises R.- Facebook - (6:19)
What's the next level? After stepping up from the Metropolitan/Al-Star to the Vanishing Point/Lamy 2000, which pens are the next step from these?
  • there's a law of diminishing returns here, for sure
  • once you hit gold nibs, you really get into a lot of fancy options
  • pens with gold nibs pretty much plateau in terms of how they write, so it's other aspects of the pen that impact its price
  • fancier/precious materials, unique filling mechanisms, enhanced build quality, nicer plating on trim (platinum instead of rhodium, higher grade of gold, etc), more design/artistry, LE, nicer presentation
  • you quick jump up into the $500-800 range
  • Visconti Homo Sapiens/Opera/Divina, Aurora Optima/88, Montegrappa Copper Mule/Passione, Pelikan Souvrän m400/600/800/1000, Montblanc 146/149, Namiki Nippon Art/Yukari, Graf von Faber-Castell Classic/Tamitio/Anello, Caran d'Ache, Delta DolceVita, Stipula Etruria, Parker DuoFold, Waterman Carene
  • there are many more besides these, of course!

2) bercolini- Instagram - (20:01)
You often mention fountain pens working by capillary action. What does that actually mean? 
  • not to sidestep this question, but WikiPedia has a really good answer to this (that even mentions fountain pens specifically)
  • capillary action is when a liquid is able to flow through a restricted space without the assistance of gravity
  • with fountain pens, the very thin ink channel in the feed utilizes the natural capillary action that allows the ink (mainly water) to flow through it naturally, which gives it that smooth flowing feeling while you write
  • it's very much like water going through the root system in a tree
  • because of this, fountain pens will even write upside down or in space

3) whysee2017- Instagram - (24:00)
In last week's episode you talked about how to polish the pen. I want to know more about how to keep the nib shiny too. My Platinum 3776 gold nib seems less "golden" than before. Ink is always sticking in the nib pattern of Sailor Pro Gear. How do I keep the nib shiny as new?
  • you can buy metal polishing cloths at a jewelry store, or I may source them out at Goulet
  • you just rub the nib with the cloth (not inked!)
  • make sure you're not getting fibers in the slit
  • that's about all!

4) awmawy- Instagram - (30:01)
What is the future for the fountain pen market? Where do you see openings for the market to expand? For example, what type of pens aren't sold now, but could be? Stuff like that. (You said leave a tough question. Haha.)
  • the future is somewhat uncertain, because of the impact of technology
  • many could assume fountain pens are very much threatened, but it may actually be making somewhat of a revival with the internet and peoples' desires for the analog as digital is omnipresent in our lives
  • openings in the market will be around niches, passion
  • small batches, exciting new things, changing up things on a regular basis to fight the "noise" in the marketplace
  • exotic materials, like what Jonathan Brooks of Carolina Pen Co mixes up
  • smaller, independently crafted brands with a "support local" feel, a story behind them
  • leading with experimentation and innovation
  • bespoke pens, ability to personalize (Edison Signature)
  • new nib materials (like Nitinol) that could offer flexibility 
  • enhanced filling mechanism designs (like Conid Bulkfiller)

5) ramirols9010- Instagram - (47:26)
I'm very interested in Aurora pens, but they are way too expensive. The less expensive 14K nib is the Aurora Alpha; are you familiar with it? Does it have a similar nib to the Optima? What is the difference between the 88/Optima/Talentum/Alpha 14k nibs?
  • I have little personal experience with the Alpha and Talentum to be honest
  • I know all these pens use the same nibs, except the new 88 LE flex nib
  • there are some 14k and 18k options for some of these (88 comes to mind), they write similarly though
  • the pen body and filling mechanism itself makes the difference
  • less expensive Tallentum and Alpha use the same 14k gold nib as the 88 and Optima
  • with most gold nib pens, once you hit a gold nib, it doesn't really improve from there, it's other aspects of the pen that drive the price up
  • size, design, filling mechanism, material, theming, licensing (for LE pens), etc all impact pricing
  • the 88 and Optima are (often) Auroraloid (celluloid/resin blend), and piston filler
  • there is a medium size 88 that's C/C and cheaper

Business - (53:27)

6) arachnesthreads- Instagram - (53:30)
What's the difference between the closeouts and sale items sections in the shop?
  • Closeouts: products that we're discontinuing, is going to be no longer available to us (dropped by our distributor) or ceased to be manufactured altogether
    • these we try to discount deeper to move them along (if we can, sometimes we're not able) and often have separate return/exchange policies as a result
  • Sale items: regularly offered items that are discounted temporarily but we will continue to carry ongoing
    • caused by overstock, usually
    • special promotions, often offered by the manufacturer
  • We used to have them separated entirely on the site, but we do include closeouts in the sale items section these days, which could be confusing and we would be open to changing that back if it's confusing! Please let us know

QOTW: If a pen genie granted you one pen of any kind to have, with the caveat that you could only look at it and never touch it or write with it, what would it be? - (01:03:27)

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, March 30, 2017

Thursday Things: Seaside Springtime

Spring is in bloom at Goulet Pens with the release of our latest seasonal edition of the Edison Nouveau Premiere, Seaglass. Since we simply can't shake this pen from our minds, it seemed totally fitting for this week's Thursday Things to center around this gorgeous pen. We dove into the sea of coordinating pastel products and brought you some treasures that we think accentuate this striking writing tool nicely. Grab your sunglasses and join us in a trip to the shores of writing greatness with the products featured in this week's Thursday Things: Seaside Springtime.

Featured products from left to right:
The Thursday Things: Seaside Springtime shopping guide has all these great products, all in one place!
Lamy LX Fountain Pen - Rose Gold
Platinum 3776 Fountain Pen - Nice Lilas
Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo Fountain Pen - Light Blue
Edison Nouveau Premiere Fountain Pen - Seaglass
Nemosine Singularity Fountain Pen - Aqua Demonstrator

Which pen and ink combo stirs up your seas of inspiration?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Aurora Blue/Black: Ink Review

Hi ink enthusiasts! Margaret here, reviewing the latest ink from Aurora. Aurora hasn't introduced a new ink in quite some time, so the news of Aurora Blue/Black ink has been well received in the fountain pen community. They took over 6 months to develop the most accurate blend of blue and black, and have taken great care and consideration in making sure this ink is safe for all fountain pens. Spoiler alert - I love this ink. Read on to find out why!

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):
  • 30+ - If you're looking to take quick notes, be aware of the slightly longer dry time. For taking notes at your desk, or signing paperwork, I don't see it being a problem.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):
  • Low - This ink gets messy when it comes in contact with water. I'd be careful if using it on your desk with drinks nearby.

  • Medium - You can see a slight difference between swabs 1 and 2, but between 2 and 3 there's really no difference. As you can see, it's a really great blend of blue and black.

Ease of Cleaning:
  • Medium - Darker inks take a bit more work to clean out of your pen, but it didn't require a lot of extra effort.

  • Medium - You could see shading with the medium nib, and the red sheen is beautiful especially when using this ink on Tomoe River paper!

  • Medium - This ink flowed really nicely, and I especially liked it in the Lamy broad nib. It would be fantastic for everyday use.

Packaging and Aesthetics:
  • Comes in a 45ml glass bottle
  • Tall, slender bottle which should be easy to fill from. It could, however, be difficult when ink is running low.

Inks Similar in Color:

I really enjoyed using this new ink from Aurora! It would be the perfect ink to use in a professional work setting, or when needing to sign formal documents. It's nice to have something a bit different from your traditional blue or black ink. I love that this ink will pop off the page in contrast to black text in a book or alongside black text in a printed document. You can rest assured that this ink won't damage your pens, so that offers a lot of peace of mind. Plus, if you're using the right paper, you can get some beautiful red sheen!

You can find a 45ml bottle of Aurora Blue/Black at GouletPens.com for $18.00. A 2ml sample is also available for $1.70. Aurora Blue/Black is also available in cartridges for $6.50.

What ink do you prefer to use in a professional setting?

Write on,

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Edison Nouveau Premiere Seaglass Spring 2017 SE Fountain Pen

Happening upon the perfect piece of seaglass is a rare occasion. These gorgeous, colorful beach finds are the result of decades of weathering.  A joy to stumble upon, seaglass is tossed upon the shore by the ever-lapping waves, waiting in the sand for a lucky soul to unearth its beauty. Much like these treasures, the latest Edison Nouveau Premiere Seaglass will dazzle and delight the lucky few who are able to bring one home. A cool turquoise bodied pen with swirls of black and white and waves of pastel pink and blue throughout, Seaglass instantly transports you to warm sandy beaches every time you pick up the pen to write. The pen fits right in among the gorgeous sights of Key West, Florida where our product photographer Sarah was able to snap a few pictures while on vacation!

This pen is the 14th seasonal edition of our Edison Nouveau Premiere collection and carries on the wave of gorgeous, cheery pastel designs started by previous editions (like last spring's Water Lily or last summer's Neptune's Pearl). Supplies are limited and it will be available for the next several months or until supplies run out. The body is engraved with the name of the pen and the season in which it was produced. It arrives in a lovely box, complete with a standard international converter so you'll be ready to write immediately.

Just wait until you write with this Edison nib! It's smooth-writing and flows nicely, offering just a hint of feedback. It is available in EF, F, M, B, 1.1mm, and 1.5mm stainless steel nib sizes. These nibs are replaceable and swappable, available for $25 each. You can also upgrade to one of the 18kt gold nibs for $125. Not sure how to go about swapping? Check out this handy video on swapping Edison nibs!

Looking for a matching ink to capture your waves of writing with this new pen? Check out our recommendations below:

The Edison Nouveau Premiere Seaglass is available at GouletPens.com for $149 for a limited time only. You can find more details and all the technical specs about this pen on our website. 

Are you captivated by this gorgeous pastel pen?

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Monday, March 27, 2017

Robert Oster Tranquility with a Noodler's Nib Creaper Truk Lagoon: Monday Matchup #135

Hey there, fountain pen friends! Jenni here, bringing you my matchup of the Noodler's Nib Creaper Truk Lagoon and Robert Oster Tranquility. When it came time to choose new Monday Matchup pens and inks, I knew immediately that I wanted to use Robert Oster Tranquility. I've been hooked on it since we introduced the line and I saw the gorgeous sheen and coloring on the overhead image Sarah (one of our product photographers) took. Read on to hear more about how I created this piece and what I thought of this pen and ink.

Since I had my ink already picked, I was excited to find that there was a small demonstrator in a color that matched the ink. I have used very heavy pens for some of my Monday Matchups and I find my hands get fatigued from all the weight so I was ecstatic to use the Nib Creaper. It's a great size for my hands and gave me the ability to have some line variation. The inspiration for my drawings came from the name of the ink itself. I've found that the most tranquil moments of my life are my morning yoga routines, so I decided to reflect those in my drawings. Even though yoga can be challenging and exhausting, it still leaves me feeling calm and refreshed.

I was thinking about how I could use yoga in a Monday Matchup to show tranquilty and then it clicked! What if I made a sort of flip book, where we went through the stages of the Sun Salutation? I liked the idea of using the ink to highlight the poses, while also showing off the sheen that you can achieve when you use the ink in large amounts. I knew Tomoe River paper would be my best choice to show the sheen and the Goulet notebooks featuring Tomoe River paper are the perfect setup for a flipbook! I drew out the positions and their names on the pages of the notebook in pencil, then went over them with the pen and ink. Once that was dry, I used a brush pen to fill in the shapes with a good amount of the ink so they would have sheen when they dried. Once they were dry, I erased the pencil marks underneath and the flipbook was created!

I love this combo. It was the perfect pen for me to use with this ink. I enjoyed watching the ink inside of the pen's demonstrator body, as well as the line variation the nib created. It complemented the shading and sheen nicely. The weight felt great in my hand, so there was no hand fatigue, which was my favorite thing about this combo. This pen writes really wet so it wouldn't be great for any quick writing or notetaking. The ink has the tendency to smear if not left to dry completely as well. I smeared a few words because I was rushing and didn't allow enough dry time. This pen and ink pairing is perfect for seeing the shading and sheening this ink is capable, if you have the time to let it dry. The only thing I would change about this matchup is the orientation of the notebook. I think a horizontal orientation would have been better to create the effect of the flipbook. Holding the book from the side gave me a little trouble when trying to flip the pages.  

Illustration of the sun salutation sequence B poses, drawn with a Noodler's Nib Creaper Truk Lagoon fountain pen and Robert Oster Tranquility ink.
Illustration of the sun salutation sequence B poses, drawn with a Noodler's Nib Creaper Truk Lagoon fountain pen and Robert Oster Tranquility ink.
Illustration of the sun salutation sequence B poses, drawn with a Noodler's Nib Creaper Truk Lagoon fountain pen and Robert Oster Tranquility ink.
Illustration of the sun salutation sequence B poses, drawn with a Noodler's Nib Creaper Truk Lagoon fountain pen and Robert Oster Tranquility ink.
Illustration of the sun salutation sequence B poses, drawn with a Noodler's Nib Creaper Truk Lagoon fountain pen and Robert Oster Tranquility ink.
Illustration of the sun salutation sequence B poses, drawn with a Noodler's Nib Creaper Truk Lagoon fountain pen and Robert Oster Tranquility ink.

You can find the Noodler's Nib Creaper Truk Lagoon fountain pen at GouletPens.com for $16.10. Robert Oster Tranquility 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 the bottle of ink. We're excited to see what pen and ink you have matched!

How to enter Monday Matchup Giveaway:
  • Match a pen and ink together. They don't have to match in color, any fountain pen, and ink works.
  • Take a picture of your pen and ink matchup. 
  • Find the entry details and instructions below on how to share your picture with us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or as a blog comment*. 
  • You can choose to enter only one way or submit up to 4 different entries if you'd like. Feel free to use the same picture for all 4 entries.
  • Confirm your entry via the Rafflecopter widget below which will record your entries. This is how we'll draw a random winner. Since it's totally random, you're eligible to win each week! 
  • To see more of Rafflecopter's privacy policy, click here. Your email is never shared, and is only used to contact you should you win.
  • *Due to recent changes with the Disqus platform, you must register for a Disqus account in order to post a photo entry in the blog comments.  
a Rafflecopter giveaway The contest is open Monday, March 27, 2017 at 12pm EST until Tuesday, March 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,

Friday, March 24, 2017

Goulet Q&A Episode 161: Great Blue Inks, Reviving a Lamy 2000, and the New Aurora Flex Nib!

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 great blue inks, reviving a Lamy 2000, and writing with the new Aurora flex nibs!

New/Upcoming Products: - (1:06)

Pens/Writing - (8:37)

1) thev1k1ng- Instagram - (8:39) 
Have you had a chance to check out the new Aurora flex nibs yet? What are your thoughts on those?
  • I got to meet the nibmeister who designed these, and he explained how he makes them
  • they take the 14k Aurora nibs, cut the wings, thin the metal, and shape them to be just the right amount of flexibility without being so soft the tines easily spring
  • I find it to be quite responsive
  • easier to use than a Noodler's flex, doesn't spread quite as far
  • softer and more variation than the Pilot Falcon
  • not quite as soft as the Omas Extra-Flessibile nibs, but don't spring nearly as easily, too
  • these nibs will be in extremely limited supply, only available on the Aurora 88 LE pens
  • 188 of each color, being released around once a month

2) christian_austin_little- Instagram - (17:45)
Ok so here is my question,what happens to a pen after the nib material wears off?
  • this could happen over time, so it's a legit question
  • the best way to figure it out is to look at how people are replacing older nibs today
  • if it's a bigger nib size and it's worn down, it can be reground to a smaller nib size
  • you can actually have nibs retipped by a pro
  • you can smooth it and just keep using it (but it will wear fast if there's no tipping left)
  • you can get a replacement nib from another pen

Ink - (22:53)

3) the_film_darkroom- Instagram - (22:56)
If someone said they love blue too and what ink choice to go for... Which would you say tops the list for sheening, then sparkle, best shading and one that may not have any of those characters but is just a gorgeous shade of blue?

4) @archimage- Twitter - (28:24)
Best ink bottles/inks for low levels?

Troubleshooting - (37:22)

5) mad_betes_312- Instagram - ()
brian, you always highly recommend the Lamy 2000. I love mine but like you I have somewhat greasy oily fingers. My Lamy 2000 is a year old and it is shiny in places and the cool makloron finish seems to be gone. Is that possible? I've washed it in mild dish soap but it still looks the same. Any suggestions for my 2000 and all other pens?
  • mine's the same way
  • brillo pad/scotchbright pad
  • re-scuff with the grain, end to end 
  • this is pretty unique to this pen bc of the physical pattern

Business - (45:40)

6) colors_and_beads- Instagram - (45:42)
What are some products that are released once a year? (as in: would be a nice thing to collect  ) I know about Lamy Safari or AL star, or the Pelikan's Ink of the year. Are there any others?
QOTW: What regularly released FP product has you hooked? - (53:50)

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, March 23, 2017

Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz: Ink Review

Hey there, friends! Lydia here, bringing you my first ever ink review! Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz is the new Ink of the Year 2017 and has been highly anticipated around the office. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from a name like "Smoky Quartz" so I was intrigued to get my hands on it.

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):
  • 20 seconds- I was kind of shocked at how fast it dried. Because it was a darker ink, I was expecting a longer dry time but it was completely dry in 20 seconds.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):
  • Low - When I dripped the water on this ink, it definitely moved quite a bit. There are still faint lines there, but the majority of the color definitely bleeds when it comes into contact with water.

  • High- I see little to no difference between swab 1 and 3.

Ease of Cleaning:
  • Easy- This ink cleaned right out of the pen with no problems.

  • Medium - This ink definitely gets some interesting color variations in the letters when writing with a medium nib. That was a plus for me. I like a little color variation in my writing. 

  • Medium - No flow problems in any of the nibs, even the extra fine. 

Packaging and Aesthetics:
  • Stylish box, looks great even as a gift box. 
  • The bottle is pretty, would look good on a desk.
  • Nice wide opening in the bottle for easy filling. 

Inks Similar in Color: 

This was a nice flowing ink and the color is a pleasing departure from your everyday black ink. It might be good for those looking for a reserved color that still offers some personality. The color reminded me a lot of the Diamine Saddle Brown I used for a Monday Matchup a few weeks ago. It was pleasant and easy to write with. This Ink of the Year is only available for a short time and is limited in quantity so be sure to get yours today!

You can find Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz in a 2ml sample for $2.15 or a 50ml bottle for $28.

What is your favorite brown ink?

Write On, 

Thursday Things: Apples and Oranges

A citrus fruit inspired flat lay of bright and colorful fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

Take a bite out of this Thursday and savor the delicious products in this collection of fruit inspired pens, inks, and notebooks. Your writing will never be sweeter than when you pick up one of these delectable writing tools. Thursday Things: Apples and Oranges is ripe for the picking and ready to "pear" you with your next "grape" pen, ink, or notebook. Dig in and see which items suit your taste!

Featured products from left to right:
Shop these products by the bushel in the Thursday Things: Apples and Oranges shopping guide!
A citrus fruit inspired flat lay of bright and colorful fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Monteverde Limonada Fountain Pen - Turino Red
A citrus fruit inspired flat lay of bright and colorful fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Edison Collier Fountain Pen - Persimmon Swirl
A citrus fruit inspired flat lay of bright and colorful fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Jinhao 159 Fountain Pen - Yellow
A citrus fruit inspired flat lay of bright and colorful fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Faber-Castell Loom Fountain Pen - Piano Plum
A citrus fruit inspired flat lay of bright and colorful fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.
Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop Fountain Pen - Green
A citrus fruit inspired flat lay of bright and colorful fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

What is your favorite fruit?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Don't miss anything! Subscribe to our Weekly Email Newsletter!

Disqus for Goulet Pens Blog