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Home2019-08-07T13:45:27-05:00

10 Milestone Products for 10 Years of Goulet

We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary here at Goulet Pens and we’re reminiscing about the 10 most impactful and meaningful products in the life at Goulet Pens. There are a lot of different reasons as to why these are significant, so watch the video to learn to find out why:

Do you have a favorite product we’ve carried over the last 10 years? Thanks for a decade of support!

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company

November 12th, 2019|Top 10 Lists|0 Comments

Goulet Q&A Episode 273, Great Advice for Pen Newbies, Exclusive Ink Process, and Low vs. High End Pens

In this episode I give my best advice for new pen users, if lower-end pens of a brand give a good indication of their higher-end pens, and what it takes to develop an exclusive ink. Enjoy!

This week:

Pens/Writing

1) Elizabeth D- Facebook 

Will the Montegrappa Elmos have metal threads from now on? Or are the new ones coming a kind of subset?

  • yes, that’s a change they decided to make recently
  • our purple ones still have resin threads, but the ones newer than that will be coming with metal
  • they really just wanted to assure longevity…not that they were having any issues with the threads as are, they’re robust and I anticipate no issues with them
  • they work a lot in metal, and over a long, long, long time metal will hold up better than resin, so I think that’s the only motivation
  • the cap is still resin threads, and they’re smooooooth, it feels great

2) @caraem3- Instagram 

Best 3 pieces of advice for new users?

  • this is tough to narrow down! I’ll do my best, it’ll end up being more principles/approaches than specific bits of advice
  • the journey is the reward, there is no one perfect pen for everyone, part of the experience is figuring out what’s right for YOU and you’re the only one that can determine what that looks like
  • think about the pen, ink, and paper together, it’s a trifecta that all works together and the more you learn about each one, the richer the experience you’ll have
  • learn as much as you can from others and engage/interact with other pen people, FP101, this YouTube channel, other pen bloggers like SBREBrown, Gourmet Pens, Figboot on Pens, Pen Habit, Pen Addict, Pen Boy Roy, and many others put out comprehensive, educational, entertaining content that you can learn a lot from, at any level of pen experience

3) @_inkskein_- Instagram

What pen part would you say is the unsung hero of great writing experience? (the feed?)

  • great question! The feed is definitely an unsung hero, the real working part of the ink delivery system that really determines so much
  • so much engineering goes into it, it has to perfectly balance the air/ink interchange to keep from drying up or leaking ink everywhere
  • the nib….nah, it’s a sung hero, it is for sure the most critical part of the pen but most everyone knows that and it’s also the most visibly distinguishable aspect of what makes a fountain pen a fountain pen
  • converter? could certainly argue this, as it is a total gamechanger for a cartridge pen…but it’s not universal to all fountain pens so I don’t know if outranks the feed
  • another part could be the inner cap seal…not that it is present on every pen or even is necessary to enjoy your writing experience, but a good cap seal can help the nib to stay wet for a long time
  • cap threads? It’s more of a delighter than a satisfier, if it’s particularly good it can really stand out, otherwise, people don’t think about it too much unless it’s not very functional
  • the grip is pretty important too, it can change the whole feel of it, but it’s more like a nib in that a lot of people think about it as being an important part of the pen
  • clip? nah, it matters but it’s less vital than other parts
  • I think the feed would have to win for me, it’s SO vital to how a pen functions, it’s hidden away and kind of mysterious (even to me) but is the workhorse of every single fountain pen in existence

4) @gershonbrooks- Instagram

Can you get a decent representation of a brand’s high-end pens when using it’s lower-end pens eg. comparing a Platinum Procyon with 3776. Obviously, they have different nib materials but do things like nib widths matchup?

  • this is a GREAT question, and I’m really glad you asked it!
  • the short answer is that it varies, and matters more with some brands than others
  • Using the Procyon and 3776 as an example, the Procyon has the slip-n-seal cap and gives a good sense of how that’ll work on a 3776
  • the nib is pretty different, stiffer steel nib but nib sizes do emulate the thinner Japanese nibs if you were wanting to get a sense of it compared to a Western nib
  • nibs are still different though, and the 14k gold nibs actually write a little wetter, compare in the Nib Nook, so it won’t be exactly the same…it’s close though
  • This is a general rule, compare Lamy Safari to a Lamy Studio, you can get a pretty decent sense, yes, nibs are the same (in steel, at least)
  • But a Safari to a LAMY 2000? Totally different pen
  • Pilot Varsity or Metropolitan to a Vanishing Point or Custom 823? Totally different
  • Metropolitan to a Prera? sure…same nib/feed
  • Namiki Yukari (relatively inexpensive Maki-e) to Emperor, yes, you get a good idea
  • Pelikan M200 to M800/M1000, yes, you can get a close enough idea, proportional to the price, I think
  • a lot of brands kind of do one or the other better though…few brands have a really solid, consistent line going from entry-level all the way through higher end
  • LAMY has great entry-level, fewer high end
  • Visconti, Aurora, Montegrappa have great high-end, fewer entry-level and they’re pretty different
  • Diplomat Magnum– great pen but entirely different from the Aero and Excellence
  • there’s definitely an uncanny valley between steel and gold nibs, there’s often quite a difference there
  • I’d honestly love to say that there is a great way to test higher-end pen experiences with lower-end pens in the same brand, but I can’t say it’s consistent enough to be a very reliable blanket statement
  • I think each pen, no matter the price range, pretty much needs to be evaluated on its own accord

Ink

5) @sixwingstudios- Twitter

Is there a fountain pen ink that will adhere to glossy paper, say magazine or catalog? Hoping there are inks that will not only dry to glossy but actually adhere, not just wipe off. Field Notes Expedition waterproof synthetic “paper” would be the extreme example I hope for.

  • ehhh…..not really
  • the ink that works best on these glossier papers are often solvent-based, which would NOT be great for a fountain pen
  • the best inks would be pigment-based inks like Platinum Carbon Black, Pigmented Blue, Sailor “Nano” inks, and ones like them (not De Atramentis Documents)
  • Noodler’s Waterase might work okay, but would easily smudge off
  • it’s really just not the right medium, so sadly no, there isn’t really anything good for this

Business

6) Mark H- Facebook

Why or how do ink manufacturers work with an ink retailer to develop an exclusive only available through that retailer?

  • Why? Because it’s fun, interesting
  • a brand can get some extra love and attention in the community with a retailer exclusive
  • brand can try out something more bold that wouldn’t appeal to its global following
  • theme around it can be more specific, targeted (thinking about Noodler’s nation-exclusives)
  • How, it’s pretty simple and varies a bit depending on the parties involved
  • Largely it involves a manufacturer having the capabilities in their own bandwidth, creative resources, and willingness to consider it
  • there’s often a typical batch size they need to make everything in, so that’s often the minimum order quantity, could be several hundred to many thousands of bottles
  • smaller boutique ink makers make things in smaller batches and they’re a little more nimble, so you see more exclusives there, Noodler’s having done more than anyone, Diamine, Robert Oster, and a few others
  • manufacturer may have a color already in their line that can just be repackaged (this is up for debate about being exclusive, if it’s just the theming/packaging that’s different but the ink is exactly the same as an existing color)
  • manufacturer may have tested out a new color or variation on an existing color but hasn’t done anything with it yet
  • retailer may want something specific and propose it to the manufacturer, they see if they can work it out
  • name, theme, artwork could be done by either party, it depends on their resources and what they agree to
  • pricing, packaging, shipment, terms of payment, all these details are negotiable but need to be settled on
  • bottom line, it’s actually quite a bit of work and a lot of details to do an exclusive, and a lot of times, it just doesn’t work out
  • but it’s a lot of fun and interesting to do, so you’ll certainly seem more of them come out from time to time for those willing to put in that work

Personal

7) Adam W- Facebook 

I just want to know your thoughts about travel. Before November of 2017 you had never been outside of the country. Since then you’ve been to Germany, Japan, and Italy. How has this been a change for you?

  • yes, it has been a very eye-opening couple of years for me!
  • it’s been fascinating for me, truly, and I can’t express how grateful I am to have been able to experience this travel thanks to the work that I’m in
  • for me, it’s the absolute perfect way for me to travel
  • I’m not a detailed planner, I will get myself on the right plane on the right day and show up where I need to, but I basically never plan out meals, where I’m staying (that much), etc, and traveling for work, I often have more experienced people I’m traveling with who already know good places to go, stay, eat, visit, etc
  • I have a friend of mine who’s an engineer for major industrial equipment, and his travel takes him into very off-the-beaten-path places in deserts, very rural and not incredibly fascinating places
  • getting to travel to romantic and historically relevant places in the world like Tokyo, Florence, Naples, Heidelberg, have been a joy for me
  • I not only get to see some of the most iconic pen companies with their own rich histories, but I also get to visit these places with established cultures that I can immerse myself in while I’m there
  • I’ve been able to get perspective on the pen industry as a whole, their local economy, government, taxes, etc that all impact their decisions, what markets in the world are relevant to them
  • I’ve been extremely humbled, seeing just how big of a place the world really is
  • Yet also, how common elements such as passion for writing, family, quality, legacy, service, trust, history, art, passion, etc there is across all these cultures
  • There is far more that makes us all similar than there are that make us different
  • That said, as much as I can appreciate every culture for what it is, I’m always SO glad to be home, there really is no place like home

QOTW: Where was the first place you traveled internationally? If you haven’t, where would you want to go? 

Write On,

Brian Goulet

November 8th, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Introducing the Noodler’s Triple Tail Flex Pen

In the autumn of 2019, Nathan of Noodler’s announced a new pen model, which debuted at the Commonwealth Pen Show in Massachusetts. We knew this new Noodler’s model was sure to be an exciting addition to an already intriguing brand. The Noodler’s Triple Tail offers a three-tined music nib on a body style that is quite familiar to a few already beloved models. Read on to learn more or check out Brian and Drew’s video below!

The Triple Tail, named for a type of fish, sports a three-tined music nib and a cigar-shaped body style that is reminiscent of the Noodler’s Ahab. The Triple Tail also has a similar slide piston filling mechanism like the Ahab. But the size and girth are closer to Noodler’s other three-tined music nib pen, the Neponset. Like all other Noodler’s Pens, the Triple Tail is designed to be disassembled without tools and is a true “tinkerer’s pen” for those that like to adjust and fix their pens themselves.

The Triple Tail is the first Noodler’s pen to feature a threaded nib housing. Within this new housing, you will find a new design of the Music nib and feed as well. The new nib features a more streamlined look without the previous wings seen on the side of the nib. The feed appears to also be a better fit in the pen to help the pen have a more consistent flow. The Triple Tail is also fashioned from a new material that is free of “The Smell” that is noted with other Noodler’s pens. The cotton butyrate mix material is both sturdy and odor-free for the most part.

The Triple Tail is not a standard #6 nib, so swap nibs at your own risk. The pen should be compatible with the nibs from the Neponset, Ahab, and Konrad. The feed is designed to keep up with the three-tined construction so we would not recommend trying to swap this nib onto other pens as it would be a tight fit and other feeds likely could not keep up with the flow demands of the music nib.

Upon launch, the Triple Tail is only available in Clear, but we hope to see additional colors in the future.

Will you be getting a new Noodler’s Triple Tail fountain pen?

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

November 6th, 2019|Pen News|0 Comments

Bargain Hunting: Pen, Ink, and Paper for Under $50

This group is all about the products that are seriously undervalued! This whole set could be worth well over double, but snag it for under $50. Check out our recommendations:

Pen: TWSBI GO – $19

Speaking of tremendous value, the TWSBI GO features a super interesting, yet super easy spring piston filling mechanism. This technology is unique to this particular TWSBI model! Just press the button and your pen is filled. Combine that with a smooth-writing JoWo nib and you have a pen worth way more than its $19 price tag.

Ink: Organics Studio Henry David Thoreau – $13

Organics Studios have basically broken the mold on what a sheening ink is. Henry David Thoreau is one of the ‘monster sheeners’ they offer and it’s basically a dark green ink that looks red-ish pink on nearly every paper. You have to see it to believe it! It can be a bit high-maintenance, but luckily the TWSBI GO allows for a simple cleaning method.

Paper: Colorverse Nebula Notebook – $15

Show off all that ink has to offer with the Tomoé River paper featured in Colorverse Nebula notebooks. Tomoé is top-of-the-line paper that allows all the sheen, shading, or shimmer to shine through! Available in white or cream paper, these notebooks feature blank pages with multiple guide sheets to pick your own ruling. All for just $15 bucks!

Total: $47

Can you come up with a better combo for under $50? Tell us in the comments below!

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

November 5th, 2019|Shopping Guides|0 Comments

Monteverde Citrine: A Goulet Inksploration

Hi guys, Adrianne here! I’m the Customer Care Team Lead and I’m excited to share my first Inksploration with you. I had the exciting opportunity to try out the delightfully dimensional Monteverde Citrine. Read on to hear how I created my Jellyfish sketch and what my takeaways were about this ink.

Drawing Inspiration and Technique

Since it’s November, I could have definitely done a Thanksgiving theme, but I decided to do something completely different to change things up. I really like jellyfish and I felt like tackling the challenge of drawing one.

I started by googling some images of a jellyfish and asking myself “could I draw them?” Once I found a few images I liked, I just went for it (a first for me!). I played around with the ink and shading. I started with the outlines of my jellyfish using the EF, F, and 1.1mm Stub ECO to get all different line widths. I used a cotton swab dipped in ink to make nice circular bubbles. Then, using a brush pen, I was able to get a good deal of shades from this ink to fill in the drawing. Depending on whether I used water to spread the ink, dipped the brush tip in the ink for a lighter diluted hue, or used a heavily saturated brush tip with a high ink concentration, I was able to get the colors I hoped to see. For my background, I started with water as a base, then I tested the ink in a diluted form, and finally layered on mostly ink in its undiluted form. I really wanted to give the ink an opportunity to show what it could do.

I hoped for this piece to look very free-flowing and organic because that is what jellyfish are to me. I had a lot of fun playing with the shading properties of the ink, and how well it diluted with water and the brush pen. I had to tell myself to stop adding to it and not overdo it; I just wanted to keep playing with the ink and seeing what else it could do.

Ink Review

  • Flow- Wet
    • Definitely a wetter flowing ink
    • Came out pretty quickly and stayed wet on the page for a while
    • High potential for smearing depending on paper or writing style
  • Dry Time- 30+ Seconds
    •  Not great for journaling unless you used an absorbent paper
    • Keeps its color nicely as it dries though
  • Water Resistance- Low
    • Not really water-resistant
  • Shading- High
    • Wonderful shading
    • Great for art
  • How did the ink behave on other papers?
    • This ink looks beautiful with the cream Leuchtturm1917 paper
    • Behaved well on Tomoe River paper
  • Special Features Worth Noting?
    • The shading is this ink’s best feature. It’s stunning, especially with a Stub nib TWSBI.
    • The ink, in general, was a pretty smooth flowing ink, even in the EF TWSBI

Comparable Inks

Quote

Write On,
Adrianne

November 4th, 2019|Inksploration|0 Comments

Goulet Q&A Episode 272: Shimmering Ink Drying In Pens, and the Best Selling Pen of 2019

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about shimmering inks drying out pens, speculative products that turned out great, and his guess on the best selling pen of 2019. Enjoy!

This week:

Pens/Writing

1) ithinkimcomingalive- Instagram (7:02)

Are fountain pen cleaning products really necessary?

  • They’re helpful, but not always required
  • They’re there to make your pen maintenance life better
  • With conventional ink and regular pen maintenance using only water, you don’t really “need” much beyond that
  • but if you’re using more saturated inks, shimmering inks, letting them dry out, changing colors often, etc, then cleaning supplies like pen flush, bulb syringes, even a toothbrush are super handy
  • it’s totally up to you, they’re just tools which allow you to do a job better or faster, and if that makes your pen life better, go for it!

Troubleshooting

2) v_jokfr- Instagram (13:54)

How do you clean a hooded nib pen?

  • There aren’t a ton of hooded nibs these days but there are some, thinking Lamy 2000, Jinhao Shark, Jinhao 51A
  • It’s really not much different than a conventional nibs, you just flush and fill like normal
  • Shark and 51A are great because they’re cartridge/converter, easy to flush with a bulb syringe which is my favorite cleaning tool
  • Lamy 2000 is a little more complicated because it’s a piston fill, which actually helps, but you can disassemble it with care
  • other pens will vary

3) Stefan S- Facebook (22:20)

I often see people talk about ink drying out in their pens, i never had this issue even after months of shimmer ink in a TWSBI eco, what makes some people experience that often and someone like me never experience it at all even with bad habits?

  • I had the same thing, my first Eco I inked up I had Emerald of Chivor in it for 8 months without cleaning it, with no problems
  • other pens, can dry out in weeks or days
  • the pen, the ink, the humidity all matters a lot
  • the way the cap seals is HUGE in how much a pen dries out, and a few pens really stand out
  • Platinum Slip N Seal is awesome, TWSBI is really good, Pilot has inserts on many of their caps that are great
  • this is a “your mileage may vary”

Business

4) willmonty2000- Instagram (28:20)

What do you think will be the best selling pen of 2019?

  • oooo, that’s a toughie! It really depends on context, how you want to define the question
  • is this all pens period? Just fountain pens? Just Goulet Pens?
  • I assume you’re asking me about Goulet Pens, since that’s what I’d have the most perspective on
  • Do we go by volume? Or dollars? Naturally there are going to be more lower priced pens sold
  • Some of the top contenders with several factors all swirled in together
  • TWSBI Eco, Lamy Safari, Lamy Al-Star, Diplomat Magnum, in all the newer, exciting colors
  • Lamy 2000 is always solid, Pilot VP, Visconti Homo Sapiens, Pilot Custom 823, all solid

5) Seth C- Facebook (36:56)

What are some products that you had mixed feeling about, took a flier on, and it ended up selling like crazy?

  • We don’t carry anything we don’t think is good, but sometimes it’s a debate on our team and it’s just barely a “okay, we’ll try it”
  • Stipula Ventidue (Tocco Ferro) comes to mind, we had our doubts about it at first- orange one
  • Monteverde Monza– similar to Jinhao at first, but Monteverde made it more unique
  • Diplomat Magnum– we knew the Aero would do well, and the Magnum seemed like a great pen, but the response to them was surprising, especially because it’s been around for 40 years!

6) h4nkw- Instagram (51:21)

What’s agility, and how do you measure/manage it? If it’s really not just a buzzword, is GP agile?

  • Agile is somewhat of a buzzword, sure
  • it’s a methodology largely in the software development world
    • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    • Working software over comprehensive documentation
    • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
    • Responding to change over following a plan
  • It’s not something we’ve studied really, I just have a general awareness of it, my sister and her husband run a web development company
  • But the general idea of collaborating, teamwork, focus on people over tools and flexibility and proactivity are definitely part of how we operate
  • I don’t know if we’d be considered “agile”, honestly, but we seem to align with the general idea

Personal

7) bradthebear1- Instagram (56:24)

What’s your favorite reaction you got from a non-fountain pen user?

  • I haven’t ever gotten anything dramatic
  • the best was probably when I was at a networking event, and was sharing about pens, I had a TWSBI 580 ALR on me, TWSBI’s are great to show people at networking events!
  • I ended up getting several interested people there, and I was able to talk about pens, how they work, the history of writing, the business side of it, with an engaged audience for no less than 45 minutes straight, it was great having such an engaged audience
  • my favorite reaction is when I casually mention pens, like “yeah I sell fountain pens, like the kind you’ve seen in old movies that fills from a bottle of ink”
  • they’ll sometimes light up, and ask more, and you just get to see them get excited, make connections about pens they’ve used/seen, it leads into a story about their family, upbringing, or life stage where they used a pen before, it’s a tremendous conversation starter even if someone’s not an active FP user

QOTW: What pen, ink, or paper completely surprised you (for the better)? (1:07:36)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

November 1st, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments