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Monteverde Boxed Ink Set- Winter 2018 with a LAMY Aion: Monday Matchup Giveaway #167

An illustration of three small trees drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Lamy Aion fountain pen

Hello, fountain pen friends, Adam here, bringing you my latest Monday Matchup. This week, I chose the LAMY Aion Olivesilver and the Monteverde Winter 2018 ink set to work with this week. It’s been a snowy, wintery cold few weeks here in Virginia and I drew inspiration from that. Read on to hear about my experiences with this pen and set of inks.

The weather we have been experiencing the last few weeks inspired me to look up poetry about snow and winter. I was struck by the Dickinson poem because she was using very eloquent and evocative language to describe something very simple. It made me stop and consider the simplicity of nature, but also the profound wonder of it as well. When I think of winter, I think of stillness and barrenness. The image of empty trees with a simple fence line seemed to fit that, and was direct imagery from the poem.

I tried a few things before finally landing on the image that I created. I was experimenting with ink splatters, and just enjoying the random nature of them when I had the idea to try to steer the splatters in a way to make them appear like trees and shadows stretching across an empty landscape. The piece is close to what I imagined, but the image would’ve been stronger if I had waited for the ink to dry before I tried to create new branches. If anyone wants to try this, I created a basic trunk first to give myself something to start with. I then used a 5mL syringe to strategically place splots of ink where I wanted there to be branches. I used a straw to blow the ink around, and would do so rather forcefully so the image would develop organically. I used a normal size straw from a fast food place, but if you can get your hands on a juice box straw, or something around that size, I imagine it would be even better.

I love LAMY pens. I find them very sleek, utilitarian, and timeless. I enjoyed using this pen, and actually prefer the weight and feel of it to an Al-Star or a Safari. If you like the way that an Al-star or a Safari write, but like your pens to be a bit more substantial, you will love this writing experience. The pen itself was textured in a way that I wasn’t wild about. If you’re a very tactile person, then this pen might not be for you. The ink colors are pretty standard, so I can see them being used for any purpose.

 

An illustration of three small trees drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Lamy Aion fountain pen

An illustration of three small trees drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Lamy Aion fountain pen

An illustration of three small trees drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Lamy Aion fountain pen

An illustration of three small trees drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Lamy Aion fountain pen

You can find the LAMY Aion Olivesilver at GouletPens.com for $71.20. The Monteverde Boxed Ink Set- Winter 2018 is available for $24. You can also find the colors (Smoke noir, Blue/Black, and Sapphire) in individual bottles and 2ml ink samples.

Enter to win this fountain pen and ink by following these directions!

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, January 22, 2018, at 12 pm EST until Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 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.

What do you love about winter?

Write On,
Adam

January 22nd, 2018|Contests & Giveaways, Monday Matchup, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Goulet Q&A Episode 197: Architect Nibs, Who Inspires Brian, and Why Stationery Stores Are Dying

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about architect nibs, his inspirations, and why stationery stores are dying off.

This week:

Pens/Writing

1. dellapinala- Instagram (9:29)
How do I grease the piston on the Stipula Tocco Ferro? I was hoping it would be similar to other piston fillers, or maybe require some finesse like the Lamy 2000, but it’s tapered body has me stumped and reluctant to start unscrewing things that may not unscrew! Thanks!

  • It’s….complicated
  • Not designed to be completely disassembled
  • You can unscrew the nib unit/housing (watch out for o-ring)
  • toothpick/grease the wall of the ink reservoir
  • I tried taking it apart, not to the point where I’d break it tho

2. coreyfraer- Instagram (18:10)
Why do you think architect nibs are so much less common than stubs? I love the way they write, but can’t think of a single company that offers stock architect grinds. However, basically everyone offers at least once size stub.

  • They’re harder to grind!
  • They’re also just not nearly as popular or as forgiving
  • I don’t know anyone that offers them “from the factory”
  • I don’t remember them being talked about much until a few years ago
  • they are pretty cool though! most impressive when writing script

Ink

3. historyjoe23- Instagram (27:27)
How do you decide which inks get sent as the “Random Ink Sample” when we order one? Is it like an “ink of the day,” or do you just throw a few of everything in a bucket and draw at random?

  • it’s probably more intentional than you think
  • it started out as just an afterthought, something that’d be fun to offer
  • we would just pick a random sample because none of them were individually inventoried anyway
  • as we grew, we had to start inventorying individual samples, which changed all that
  • we inventory them as random samples, and it’s a mix of hundreds of different inks
  • we do intentionally leave out some of the truly obscure and perhaps troublesome inks (Noodler’s Baystates, scented inks, highlighters)
  • believe it or not, we’ll get some customers that will order dozens of random samples!
  • the random sample was our #1 selling product last year (by volume)!!
  • Everyone likes a pleasant surprise, I suppose!

4. Mike W.- Facebook (32:17)
Give us your take on ink viscosity and flow. Are certain colors more apt to leak or burp than others?

  • Viscosity definitely has an impact on flow, though I lack data on which inks are impacted the most by this
  • there are some inks with properties that perhaps make it more likely to flow than others, but it’s more about the characteristics than what color it is (meaning the colorant is not really the cause)
  • inks with greater flow tend to do this more (higher lubricated inks), but I don’t honestly have hard fast data on this either, because burping and leaking happens so randomly and inconsistently with so many variables
  • it’s best to look at individual ink reviews, and try samples for yourself
  • burping is always more common in eyedropper converted pens

Business

5. @spani3l- Twitter (35:50)
A recent USA Today article reported a 42% employment drop in the stationary business since 2007. Goulet Pens (and others like Leuchtturm1917), however, seem to do just fine. What’s the secret to your success in a “dying” (USA Today) business environment? https://t.co/h8H0Z5jpb3

  • The article focuses more specifically on manufacturing, but I would say that retail has definitely been affected as well
  • the gist of the whole article was that technology has disrupted all the various industries mentioned
  • CLEARLY, digital communication has impacted the office supply market
  • we at GouletPens focus solely on fountain pens, which were already disrupted long before 2007!
  • We’re a niche within the larger stationery/office supply sector, and thus have somewhat different forces at play
  • the brands we’ve seen suffer the most are the larger ones that are more commoditized and that are owned by larger conglomerates (Parker, Waterman, Cross, Sheaffer), and the ones that are thriving are the more innovative and disruptive brands (Noodler’s, TWSBI, Visconti, Lamy, Pilot)
  • Our “secret”: talk to the community, find them what they want, and tell them about it
  • what a secret! It’s really not complicated, it’s just hard
  • now that we’re getting a little bigger, we’re finding that we need to encourage and influence what manufacturers actually make, because they need help understanding what it is pen enthusiasts want
  • grassroots engagement and social media is our lifeblood, because we get a good sense of what’s going on and what you all are looking for
  • the future is not guaranteed for us, and we all feel that here at GPC
  • “You can only coast downhill” – we will not coast, and in fact, we’re focusing now more than ever and are preparing to do some more challenging stuff this year than ever before!!

6. @LucyHoneychurch- Twitter (48:02)
Hi Brian, to which countries do you sell your products? What is your main market apart from the U.S.? Do some countries have particular preferences, e.g. who orders a lot of shimmering inks? I hope my English is not too bad, thank you for the time you take for your Q&As!

  • we sell basically anywhere that USPS and FedEx will ship
  • US is definitely our biggest market
  • other markets for us include mainly English-speaking ones, not shockingly since we’re an English-speaking site
  • Canada, UK, Australia are next biggest
  • Germany and other parts of Europe can do a little with us
  • I don’t have a strong sense of which countries do best with thing like shimmering ink, it’s too complicated to figure that out and I haven’t made it a priority to calculate that
  • generally speaking the countries outside the US buy products that are only able to be found here…Goulet exclusives, ink samples, Noodler’s ink, things like that

7. Karl K.- Facebook (52:23)
What were some highlights of the entrepreneur conference you were planning to attend recently? How will Goulet Pens change from it?

  • I was at a private forum conference this past week, and for confidentiality reasons I won’t say which one
  • it was focused on e-commerce business owners, which I’ve found to be incredibly helpful
  • I’ve belonged to other professional organizations, and e-commerce just has a lot of its own special needs
  • lots of conversation around social media, content marketing, software integrations, shipping rates, customer service/loyalty, things we do every day
  • I came back with a notebook full of ideas of things we can do to improve, and we’re going to be exploring new and better ways to do what we do for you even better
  • I won’t say specific things we’ll be doing at this point because we’re still talking about it as a team, but I can say my having gone to this conference will benefit you all in a good way in 2018 and beyond, for sure

Personal

8. @liamoran- Twitter (1:00:01)
I’m curious what (or who!) inspires you as a business owner and entrepreneur. How do you keep things evolving and exciting, while staying true to your ideals and principles as a leader?

  • I’m an avid reader, and I get inspired by other entrepreneurs who’ve built things from scratch, taken on risk
  • I can glean information from a lot of different people and situations, but I am most directly impacted by people who’ve more or less come from average or below-average means, taken an idea, applied massive amounts of grit, and built something really incredible
  • Gary Vaynerchuck for sure, my consumption of his content comes in waves, I’m more on his wavelength now
  • Simon Sinek- storytelling, Golden Circle
  • Sarah Blakely- Spanx, innovation and grit
  • Cathy Hughes- RadioOne, no excuses, grit like woah
  • Dave Ramsey and Pat Lenionci- organizational health
  • Tina Fey- respect, she freaking hustles
  • I consider myself very fortunate, because evolving and excitement are part of my ideals and values! It just comes very naturally to me
  • Like most founders, I’ve put a heavy stamp of my own values into our company’s values, so as long as I stay true to myself, I do okay
  • I struggle more with consistency and stability more than most, which is not uncommon for people like me
  • I am a disruptive force, as my team knows all too well! But in e-commerce, in a niche interest like this, that helps

QOTW: Who inspires you? (1:15:34)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

January 19th, 2018|Uncategorized|9 Comments

Introducing the Conklin Classic!

Conklin Classic

Late in 2016, we worked with Conklin to design an exclusive pen called the Nighthawk, which was a stealthy matte carbon fiber pen with a German-made Goulet nib. We had the opportunity to use a new material in a special-edition run, and we went with ebonite! Introducing the Conklin Classic

Featuring the always desirable ebonite material, the Classic is sure to strike a chord with vintage enthusiasts and modern fountain pen fans alike! Ebonite is a hard and durable, non-flexible rubber that was used before celluloid and resin became popular in pen manufacturing. Ebonite is warm to the touch and slightly porous making the pen a pleasure to write and hold.

Conklin Classic Ebonite

The Conklin Classic is available in three different designs: Harvest, Rainfall, and Firelines. These names harken back to Conklin’s American heritage in Toledo, Ohio. Each version features a swirled design of ebonite and a silver clip that’s easy to operate and securely clips. They are also equipped with a silver Goulet #6 nib (made by JoWo in Germany) to match the trim and available in a variety of nib sizes (EF, F, M, B, 1.1mm, and 1.5mm Stub).  These nibs write smoothly with a hint of feedback. The Classic also comes with a standard international converter, while accepting both long & short cartridges.

These pens are special edition and won’t be around forever, so be sure to check them out! Each of the 3 colors is available for $139 and you can find all the details & technical specs on GouletPens.com!

Conklin Classic

What do you think? Which design is your favorite?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

January 18th, 2018|Pen News, Pen Reviews|11 Comments

Thursday Things: Masquerade

A red masquerade themed flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

Dreaming of a new dramatic flourish to accent your pen case? Thursday Things: Masquerade is a spectacle of special pens, inks, and accessories, perfect for enhancing the excitement in every writing task. Eye-catching red evokes passion and romance, as well as strength, power, and energy. If your writing is in need of some enchantment, this collection could be just the remedy. Feast you eyes on the dazzling delights of Thursday Things: Masquerade and feel yourself get swept away in the beautiful melody of inspired writing.

Featured products from left to right:

 

A red masquerade themed flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

Which pen would you choose to add some drama and intrigue to your pen collection?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

January 18th, 2018|Thursday Things|6 Comments

Monteverde Onyx with a Conklin Duragraph Purple Nights: Monday Matchup #166

Illustration of tree drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Conklin Purple Nights fountain pen

Hey there, Fountain pen peeps, Jenn here! This week, I’m excited to “leaf” with you my tree drawing I completed using Monteverde Onyx and a Conklin Duragraph Purple Nights with a Medium nib. Read on to hear my thoughts on this pen and ink and how I completed this piece.

I was not initially super inspired when I got this black ink to use this week but as I was completing this piece, the buzz around the office was a flurry of snow discussion from the storm we had about a week ago. I’m a transplanted Southern Californian who loves winter and loves snow! I searched snow-covered scenery online for inspiration, as well as gave some thought to drawing snowflakes, but eventually settled on a stylized version of a winter tree instead. I really enjoy “tree of life” art and was hoping to evoke a bit of that look while emphasizing the starkness and simplicity of deep winter.

I drew my tree in pencil first, so I could make adjustments as I went. Once I was satisfied with it, I placed a clean sheet of Tomoe River on top of my pencil drawing and traced it with the Conklin. This method made it harder to follow my original lines, but I didn’t have to deal with pencil marks – a good trade, in my opinion. Having had past issues with my Monday Matchup drawings getting smudged, I very carefully worked left to right on my tree. I tried to trace the branches relatively quickly, so as to get confident, sweeping lines. The ink dried fairly quickly, which was a nice surprise. It went down very smoothly and I was really happy with the results. Once I worked my way around the entire tree, I went back to the start and added a few small, off-shooting branches to fill in some of the blank space.

As a final touch, I went through and added solid black shading to a variety of branch tips. The ink behaved really nicely for this part of the drawing; I barely had to touch the nib to the paper and ink would flow. It made easy work of smoothing out shaky lines and layering the black shadows. If I were to do this piece again, I’d love to play around with the ink in other nib sizes of this pen and try more ink wash type artwork with it to see what shades can be achieved.

I really enjoyed this pen and ink! Despite my large collection of fountain pens, I don’t own any Conklins. After my work on this Monday Matchup, I’d like to change that! I am a huge fan of purple pens, so of course the Purple Nights appealed to me. It’s absolutely gorgeous, really just stunning. I loved the weight and feel of the Duragraph. It’s lightweight, but not small, and felt very comfortable in my hand. I tend to get fixated on my grip of a pen when writing. The transition from body to grip section on the Duragraph was so smooth and unnoticeable that it didn’t even register with me. The nib on this pen was also great. The Medium nib wrote more like a broad, so much so, that I double checked the box to be sure I didn’t have the wrong pen. It was not the best for fine lines but was great to write with. In my opinion, the one drawback of this pen is that it felt very unbalanced when posted. I prefer to post my pens. The Duragraph can be posted, but I much preferred the feel of it unposted.

The Monteverde Onyx ink was a huge surprise, in that I liked it a lot more that I expected. I’m a shimmer ink kind of person. The Onyx did not capture my attention right away, but I soon saw that it wasn’t just a basic black. It actually came out more as a gray-black on first stroke, darkening to true black only with an additional layer of ink. Plus, there is a lot of shading going on with this ink. I felt I was able to give my tree quite a bit of depth and detail thanks to the shading I achieved with the Onyx ink. And although it’s not apparent in most of my drawing, in certain areas with more ink you can see that there is a tiny bit of silver sheen visible. Onyx isn’t a shimmer ink, for sure, but it’s way more than a boring black and I really enjoyed drawing with it.

I feel like the Duragraph and Onyx combination would be great for either work or school. With its lightweight body and comfortable grip, the Duragraph would make for a great daily workhorse pen. Plus it’s beautiful, and it never hurts to have a bit of beauty in your life. Ink-wise, Onyx is definitely an acceptable color for a professional setting, but its shading properties offer a small flare of fun for the rebel within us.

Illustration of tree drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Conklin Purple Nights fountain pen

Illustration of tree drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Conklin Purple Nights fountain pen

Illustration of tree drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Conklin Purple Nights fountain pen

 

Illustration of tree drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Conklin Purple Nights fountain pen

 

Illustration of tree drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Conklin Purple Nights fountain pen

You can find the Conklin Duragraph Purple Nights at GouletPens.com for $52. Monteverde Onyx is available in a 2ml ink sample for $1.25 or a 90ml bottle for $15.

Enter to win this fountain pen and ink by following these directions!

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, January 15, 2018, at 12 pm EST until Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 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.

What do you love about winter?

Write On,
Jenn

January 15th, 2018|Monday Matchup|182 Comments

Goulet Guests: Brian Gray, Edison Pen Co.

This week’s Goulet Guest is a special one, because I was able to sit down with Brian Gray of Edison Pens while I was visiting him for the first time in Milan, Ohio. A bit of a different cadence than my other Goulet Guests, this is more of a casual conversation between the two of us with some guided questions along the way.

We talk about each of our origins stories and business philosophies, Edison’s new space, their upgraded equipment, the size of their team, what it takes to design a pen, and what new Edison pens we can expect to see in 2018. Hopefully you enjoy this video as much as we enjoyed making it.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

January 12th, 2018|Goulet Guests|13 Comments