Home 2018-06-30T13:07:44+00:00

Jacques Herbin Cornaline d’Egypte with a Karas Kustoms Fountain K Orange: Monday Matchup #189

An illustration of a cat and mouse featuring a quote by N.R. Hart made using a Karas Kustoms Fountain K fountain pen in Orage and Herbin Cornaline d'Egypte shimmering ink.

**WINNER: Congrats to Diya T. (Entered on Instagram). Check back next week for another awesome Monday Matchup Giveaway**

Hi there, fountain pen fans! Jenn here, bringing you my latest matchup. This week, I got to use the Karas Kustoms Fountain K in Orange Aluminum and the new Jacques Herbin 1798 Cornaline d’Egypte ink. Read on to hear about my inspiration for this purr-fectly comfy kitty and what I thought of the pen and ink!

The orange ink kept bringing to mind an orange tabby cat. I love kitties (I have 3 at home), but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to draw my imaginary tabby. Playing with yarn? Stalking a butterfly? Then I came across a picture I’d taken awhile back of my cat Zazzles asleep with his chin on the top of the tank of my betta fish, Threat Level Midnight (yes, I’m a fan of both Big Bang Theory and The Office!). It was adorable; it really did seem like Zazzles was trying to make friends with TLM and got so comfy he just fell asleep. I immediately knew I wanted to base my drawing off of that picture.

I started off by tracing a picture of a fish bowl, so I could ensure it would be symmetrical. I lightly drew in some outlines of the cat, then traced over my outlines until they were the thickness that I wanted. I gave emphasis to his ears, eyes, and nose, while keeping the outer facial lines very thin. After that, I moved on to outlining his paws, body, and tail. Again, I kept the lines thin and wavering to give the suggestion of fur without drawing individual hairs.

Once my kitty was outlined, I drew in the betta fish. I retraced the outer fins a couple of times to darken the lines, then filled them in, varying from extremely light pressure to firm pressure to get some variance in thickness and shade. I moved on to the scales. I tried to draw them in as realistically as possible but my medium nib was too thick for such tiny details. I ended up just making small, filled-in diamonds and randomly re-tracing some to make them darker. I finished up by shading in some areas of the fins, to give depth to the overall look. After the ink on my betta was dry, I went back to my cat and finished him up by adding his tabby stripes and whiskers. My drawing still seemed incomplete at this point. I realized I needed to add décor to the fish bowl. To keep it simple, I chose to go with your everyday aquarium rocks. I retraced the outline of the rocks several times, and then used a clean, wet brush pen to fill each one with a touch of color. My final step was to add the quote. I knew I wanted one that was simple, short, and spoke to comfort and companionship.  I chose the quote by N. R. Hart because I loved how adding it to my drawing lends viewers to the conclusion that these two creatures are the best of friends, unlikely as that may be.

I own an Karas Kustoms Ink and I really like it, so I was excited to try the Fountain K. I found it comfortable to hold, and while it’s definitely a solid weight, I didn’t find it to be heavy at all.  The grip is metal (the entire pen is metal) but not slippery. The nib was smooth and overall I really had a good writing experience. The orange color is bright but not obnoxiously so; I’m not a huge fan of orange but I like the look of this pen a lot.

The Cornaline d’Égypte is the newest Jacques Herbin 1798 shimmering ink. If you’ve read any of my previous Monday Matchups, you know I’m a huge fan of shimmer inks, and this one is no exception. It has a surprising range of color, from the light orange brought out by the brush pen to the almost brown that appears when put down in layers. The silver shimmer came through quite well, despite using a medium nib (as opposed to a broad or stub). When used in writing, the orange is a pleasing shade that is easily readable while remaining unique. So many people worry about clogs when using a shimmer pen, but the ink never once stopped flowing. I drew this picture over the course of four days, and I never had a problem just picking up the pen and getting straight to work. I did have difficulties with the finer details – the whiskers, the fins, the little wisps of hair inside the kitty’s ears – and getting them to actually show up on the paper. I think I was basically trying to get a medium nib to put down a fine or even extra-fine line, and that’s just not what medium nibs are made to do, so it’s not surprising that I had a hard time. Using a variety of nibs for the piece probably would have solved this struggle.

I feel like the Fountain K and the Jacques Herbin Cornaline d’Égypte would be great for just about anything –personal journaling, letter writing, work notes if you’re allowed non standard colors, and drawing. Yes it’s a shimmer ink, and yes it’s orange, but it’s also quite readable, flows well, and makes you happy when you look at it. The pen itself is tough – no worries if you’re taking it from place to place – and with the screw-on cap you can just toss it in your purse or stick it in your pocket and you’re good to go (although a pen slip never hurt anyone, either!).

An illustration of a cat and mouse featuring a quote by N.R. Hart made using a Karas Kustoms Fountain K fountain pen in Orage and Herbin Cornaline d'Egypte shimmering ink.

An illustration of a cat and mouse featuring a quote by N.R. Hart made using a Karas Kustoms Fountain K fountain pen in Orage and Herbin Cornaline d'Egypte shimmering ink.

An illustration of a cat and mouse featuring a quote by N.R. Hart made using a Karas Kustoms Fountain K fountain pen in Orage and Herbin Cornaline d'Egypte shimmering ink.

An illustration of a cat and mouse featuring a quote by N.R. Hart made using a Karas Kustoms Fountain K fountain pen in Orage and Herbin Cornaline d'Egypte shimmering ink.

 

You can find the Karas Kustoms Fountain K in Orange Aluminum at GouletPens.com for $80. Jacques Herbin Cornaline d’Egypte is availabe in a 50ml bottle for $28 or a 2ml sample for $2.

You could win this pen and ink! In an effort to make entering Monday Matchup a little easier, we’ve done away with the Rafflecopter widget and will be randomly selecting a winner from a randomly chosen platform each week. The entries methods will still be the same: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a blog comment, but you’ll no longer have to complete your entry through Rafflecopter.

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.
  • 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.
  • Here’s how to enter:

The contest is open Monday, August 13, 2018, at 12 pm EDT until Tuesday, August 14, 2018, at 12 pm EDT. 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,
Jenn

August 13th, 2018|Monday Matchup|0 Comments

Goulet Q&A Episode 221: Pen Turnoffs, Yellowing Resin, and Collecting vs. Using!

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about his biggest pen turn offs, yellowing resin, and collecting vs using!

This week:

Pens/Writing

1. Stuart J.- Facebook (10:38)

What one feature or lack of feature is the biggest turn-off when regarding a pen?

  • honest to goodness, I am turned off by very little because I clearly acquire pens like its my job (it kind of is)
  • hands down, how the pen writes is most important (feel on the page, flow of the ink)
  • price is crucial for most people (value)
  • color/material is usually next
  • gold vs steel nib
  • ink capacity is often important, or at least the filling mechanism type
  • whether the cap posts or not is usually a pretty big deal
  • capping mechanism (snap, screw, magnetic, hook safe, etc)

2. andrew_.goss- Instagram  (18:26)

What is the purpose of the tines in the feed?

  • the fins?
  • it’s to help act as a reservoir for ink, to hold it there to be ready to go
  • it also helps regulate the ink flow
  • not all pens have them, it all depends how the feed has been designed
  • pens are basically controlled leaks!

3. residentevil789- Instagram (21:53)

Do some demonstrator pens turn yellow during storage and any advise on turning them back to it’s former glory

  • it depends on the pen and the type of plastic used
  • Noodler’s pens are the only ones that come to mind that do this fairly regularly
  • it has to do with the polymers that make up the plastic
  • UV exposure is most often the culprit, but gasses, oils, and solvents can also cause it too
  • I haven’t tried, but hydrogen peroxide could possibly help in theory, though it could also corrode the metal in your pens so do at your own risk!
  • bleach could also work, that can corrode metal
  • abrasive (sanding, Comet cleaner) can remove top layer, but will risk damaging trim
  • any scientists out there wanna help me out?
  • I haven’t heard of any foolproof ways pen users have de-yellowed their pens

4. feersumenjinn- Instagram (28:10)

The massive disconnect between using and collecting pens? At times it seems the two have nothing to do with each other.

  • perhaps, but my experience is that a lot of pen collectors do use their pens
  • if someone is a serious collector, it is likely because it’s more about art than writing
  • pens are small works of art, like paintings, carvings, or feats of engineering
  • there is sometimes history around a given brand or theme, a certain artist may use pens as a medium (Maki-e)
  • there may be an investment aspect of collecting them, this is hit-or-miss though
  • the two don’t have to be correlated, but they’re not mutually exclusive either

5. smseerymurphy- Instagram (34:41)

Why don’t more FP makers have stub nibs as part of their lineup? Sigh.

  • I know, right?
  • I run into this a lot, especially with manufacturers outside the US
  • stubs are more popular in the US, I think, so some manufacturers aren’t used to them being in demand
  • they’re harder to make (for gold nibs), and if a manufacturer doesn’t want to absorb that labor they might just not offer it
  • this is something that’s changing as time goes on though, it’s getting better but still isn’t an assumed nib offering all the time

Business

6. Elizabeth D.- Facebook (41:54)

Would it be feasible to list a price per ml for ink, and price per square inch for paper on your site? The paper especially would be great.

  • possible yes…practical? not as much
  • the challenge would be that these calculations wouldn’t be dynamic, we’d have to update them manually with any price change unless we do custom development
  • price per ml would be simple enough, and that’s something we can consider if we can program it dynamically into our site
  • the challenge would be that not everything is displayed in the same measurements, like how Noodler’s is in ounces, J. Herbin is in ml
  • it could be done, but we’d have to pay our developers to do it which would ultimately have to pay itself back in increased sales, and it’s just not clear how big a win this would be
  • we have other bigger, more clear projects in the queue, but this is one I’d be curious to hear more about if there’s demand for it
  • paper would be much more complicated, as we’re not already calculating square inches (and our paper is mostly metric sizes anyway)
  • we’d have to measure and calculate everything as a new measurement
  • this would require measurements, calculation, and custom site development, so is it worth it?

QOTW: If you were given any fountain pen in the world that you asked for, would you ink it up (and what with)? (49:32)

Writing Prompt: If you could do anything at all today, knowing that tomorrow no one would remember what happened but you, write what you would do. (49:59)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

August 10th, 2018|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Thursday Things: Summer Sunrise

A summery spread of pink, purple, and orange fountain pens and accessories.

Have you ever woken up early just to watch the sun rise over the horizon? Just like the first rays of light casting a rainbow of colors up into the sky, this week’s Thursday Things theme is an awakening of color. An ombre of vibrant orange, cool purples, and cheery pinks unfurl before your eyes. Feast your eyes on Thursday Things: Summer Sunrise for a true treat exploding with color and fun.

Featured products from left to right:

A summery spread of pink, purple, and orange fountain pens and accessories.

Where is your favorite place to watch the sun rise?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

August 9th, 2018|Thursday Things|0 Comments

Top 10 Back-To-School Must-Haves for Fountain Pen Fans

It’s that time again, BACK TO SCHOOL! In the flurry of preparing and anticipation, it’s important to make sure you have the right products to carry you through the school year strong. Check out our top 10 pens, inks, and notebooks below for some solid options for students, teachers, or anyone else looking to step up their supplies this autumn. You can find additonal suggestions on our Back-To-School roundup blog.

Pilot Varsity Assorted 7-Pack

These inexpensive pens are the perfect knock-around pen for your bag. Whether you choose to dispose of them after the ink runs dry, or refill them with your favorite ink, the Pilot Varsity is going to carry you through all of your tasks. The array of colors in this variety park also offers the perfect opportuity for color-coded notes for students or a rainbow of grading inks for teachers.

Leuchtturm1917 Medium 2019 Weekly Planner & Notebook

You have to track your tasks somewhere, right? Might as well do it in style with the LT1917 planner. Available in a plethora of colors, there’s sure to be an option that fits your style. The week view with opposing page for notes is perfect for reminders, assignments, tracking meeting notes, or any other task you could need.

Clairefontaine Classic Wirebound Notebook

The perfect school notebook meets fountain pen friendly paper. The Clairefontaine Classic Wirebound is available in the quintessential 8.5″x11″ ruled notebook, as well as the slightly larger A4 size.  Most importantly, the paper that can handle even your wettest and broadest nibs. Use your fountain pens to take notes with confidence, knowing this notebook can keep up. For you lefties out there, the top wirebound Classic notebooks will save your hands from the discomfort of fighting against the wirebinding as you write.

Nock Co. Brasstown or Sinclair Pen Case

Doing your school work on the move? Tote your pens everywhere safely with one of these colorful and well-constructed Nock Co. cases. If you like to have a variety of pens, check out the Brasstown with its 6-slot roll out tongue inside a zippered pouch. If you like to carry a pocket notebook for quick notes, like reminders and to dos, take a look at the Sinclair cases, which have room for 3 pens and larger pocket opposite designed to hold a Field Notes sized notebook. Don’t be afraid to slip a few ink samples in there either so you’ll never be without a fill up in your travels.

Jinhao 993 Shark Pens

So much fin… err… we mean fun! This affordable and playful pens feature an extra fine nib, ideal for keeping that ghosting and bleedthrough under control on less than stellar paper. For less than $4 a piece, you can get a pen with a funky shark head cap and included converter! Choose from a whole school of colors and maybe even grab a few extras to share with the class.

TWSBI Eco

The perfect note taking pen with a huge ink capacity! The TWSBI Eco is a favorite pen for first timers and seasoned veterans alike. This work horse pen is available in a variety of colors and has a hearty 1.76ml ink capacity. Couple this with the cap insert that better seals the pen to prevent nib dry outs, and you have a pen that will carry you through notes, grading, tests, report cards, and anything else that may come your way over the semester.

Noodler’s Bernanke Blue and Bernanke Black

These fast-drying Noodler’s inks are great for jotting pages and pages of notes without smudging or fear of tearing the page before the ink is dry. Whether you want the traditional black or a more vibrant blue, the Bernanke inks are a great choice for the classroom. Try them in a 2ml sample or grab a whole 3 oz. bottle.

Colorverse Gravity Wave

Perfect for students and teachers alike, Colorverse Gravity Wave is reserved enough for a notetaking ink but distinct enough to be a great grading ink. This two bottle ink set also provides the perfect opportunity to have one bottle of ink for keeping at home and smaller bottle that would be ideal to carry on the go for emergency refills. Pick up the 65ml +15ml bottle set or start with a 2ml sample.

Rhodia Heritage Notebooks

These notebooks have classic school style. Whether you choose a graph or lined ruling, you can be sure you’ll enter the classroom with the sharpest looking notebook of the whole bunch. Their B5 size makes them a perfect blend between a standard notebook and a composition book and offers versatility for different uses. Be sure to check out all three distinct cover options and choose your preferred binding.

Retro51 Tornado Rollerballs

Even we have to admit that sometimes fountain pens just aren’t an option in the classroom. For those moments, we’ve got the perfect solution that still offers a chance to flaunt your style. Enter the Retro51 Tornado Rollerball collection. Goulet Pens now carries nearly a dozen different designs of these pens, as well as their refills. Snag a pen that suits your interest and stock up on refills so you can write up a storm.

Honorable Mention: Diplomat Magnum Fountain Pens

New to Goulet, this Diplomat pen is quickly joining the ranks of great beginner pen. The Magnum is offered in 4 color choices, includes a converter and standard international cartridge, and comes in at an affordable $20. The smooth writing JoWo nibs makes notetaking a joy. You’ll definitely want to study this one further.

What products are on your back-to-school shopping list?

Write On,

The Goulet Pen Company Team

August 8th, 2018|Shopping Guides|0 Comments

Left Out Vol. 2- Flex and Stub Nib Fountain Pen Tips for Lefties

Hi there, fountain pen friends, Lydia back again with the highly anticipated video about flex pens and stub nibs for lefties. I mentioned in the last episode of Left Out that every lefty has their own writing style and comforts. As such, these tips and tricks may not work for everyone. The information mentioned is purely my opinion and expereinces, but I hope it proves useful to all of my fellow Southpaws looking to get into the world of flex writing!

This is probably the most polarizing issue for lefties using fountain pens. We all see those beautiful writing videos on social media and want to do it too. GOOD NEWS: YOU CAN USE A FLEX PEN OR A STUB NIB. It’s all about adapting and finding a method that works for you. Let’s check out a few challenging scenarios with some possible solutions.

Challenge #1: Can’t flex because the angle or hand position is wrong.

This is probably the most challenging factor for any non-underwriting lefty. Underwriters like myself can fake it a bit and flex on the downstroke to still get the lovely line variation. Overwriters may have to reverse the process by pulling up and flexing almost as if they are writing upside down. Sidewriters will have some difficulty finding the ideal time to flex, but I’ve found that it is still possible if you write your letters in parts, instead of in one stroke. For example, if you are going to write an uppercase B, you may find that the most natural flex occurs when you are coming around the the bottom of the curves that make up the front of the B. Flex pens take practice. The number 1 way to combat issues with flexing at the right and wrong times is to practice, practice, practice, and get really comfortable with how the pen writes and how it feels in your hand.

Challenge #2: Smearing

All of us lefties are familiar with the issue of smearing at one time or another. Because of the extremely wet nature of flex nib writing, smearing is a big hurdle in using this type of pen. To avoid it, I have two tips you can try. The first is to turn your paper to stay out of the line of writing. This will also help you find the right writing angle to flex and may even make it much easier to flex. If you are below your writing line, you won’t be smudging as you write. The second tip would be to slow your writing way down and take ample time to let the ink dry as you go. I have also heard of other lefties using blotting paper or a plastic sheet under their writing hand to help stop from running their hand over the fresh ink.

Stub nibs, especially very crisp italic nibs, can be another sore spot for lefties. I personally avoided stubs for at least a year into my fountain pen journey because I could not get used to the ink flow and writing angle that worked best. I experienced skipping with the first few stubs I used, which leads me to the first lefty challenge with stub nibs: ink flow.

Challenge #3: Catching the paper

If catching the paper with the edge of the nib seems to be a common problem for you, you may need to consider a few options to rectify the situation. First, try turning the paper so that you are holding your nib perpendular to your writing line. This will help to make sure you are not digging the nib into the paper as you’re writing, especially for side writers. It is best to avoid super crisp nibs. Italic nibs with sharper, less rounded edges are going to be much more likely to catch the paper as us lefties are pushing them along our writing line.

I noticed when I used stub nibs at first, I struggled with ink flow and maintaining contact with the paper to get a full thick line. My angle was just wrong somehow. This caused me to abandon stubs for a while. Turning the paper, as I mentioned above, will also help maintain that contact with the paper and avoid skipping. In addition, you may also want to try a wetter ink to give a generous flow (just be careful to avoid smearing if you aren’t adjusting the paper to maintain a perpendicular angle to your writing line). Holding your pen at a lower angle is a good thing to try if you are still struggling with skipping. The solution I finally found that worked for me were custom ground nibs. I had the broad nib on my Karas Kustoms Fountain K ground into a right foot oblique and it was a completely new world for me.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Have fun with it! Remember that you are going to have a different expereince than your righty counterparts, take it slow, try and keep your flexing perpendicular to the writing line. Everyone struggles with flex pens, not just lefties. Keep practicing and taking it slow and you’ll be there in no time.
  • It may be best to ease into stub nibs and start with a smaller nib, like the Nemosine 0.6mm stub to get used to these unique pens first.
  • Check out custom grinds!

Next episode, we’ll tackle lefty handwriting and how to pick the right pens, inks, and paper. I hope you will tune in. If you have any tips, pointers, or questions, we’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Write On,
Lydia

August 7th, 2018|Tips & Tricks|0 Comments

Kyo-Iro Soft Snow Of Ohara with a Conklin Duragraph Purple Nights: Monday Matchup #188

**WINNER: Congrats to Josh B. (Entered on the blog). Check back next week for another awesome Monday Matchup Giveaway**

Hi fountain pen friends, Lydia here! Welcome back to Monday Matchup! We took the month of July off from the contest to host our #GouletOnHoliday giveaway, which was so much fun! If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our blog to see some of the great entries showcasing pens out and about all around the globe. A big thank you to all who participated. Now we are back to our usual weekly magic of pairing pens and inks to create something beautiful. This week, I was given the chance to test out one of the new Kyoto inks we got in, Soft Snow of Ohara, coupled with a Conklin Duragraph Purple Nights with an Omniflex nib. To hear about my experiences, read on!

When we first put the Kyoto inks on our site, I was intrigued by this color. I love purple and I also thought it would be funny to do a Gone with the Wind themed piece with it, even though I know the Ohara does not mean Scarlett O’Hara. But I took this idea and ran with it when creating this piece. I could feel it even before I opened the ink bottle that Kyo-Iro Soft Snow of Ohara was going to look gorgeous as an ink wash. I took a Caran d’Ache waterbrush pen and created a gradient ink wash on the top half on a sheet of Rhodia blank paper. I created hill-like shapes on the bottom half of the page on which I planned to perch the house. I gave that ample time to dry before I took to the pen for writing and drawing.

I took the pen and drew in the house and the people in the scene. I had initially hoped to write the quote on the same sheet as the drawing but realized it was going to be too long and cumbersome. I used the brush pen to blend over the quote and darken the ink wash. This ended up over-saturating the paper and causing it to become a little crumbly. I also strugled quite a bit to get the Omniflex nib to write because this very dry ink was not a good match with the wetness needed to make the Omniflex write. The more I tried to get the pen to write, the more I tore the paper, so I gave up and wrote the quote separately on a clean sheet of paper. I am not as satisfied with this piece as I have been with past drawings I have done, but I still think it looks pretty with the ink wash.

If I were to do this piece again, I would definitely pick a different paper to complete the piece on. The Rhodia could not hold up to the ink wash and all of the drawing and writing with a flex nib that I needed to do on top. I also probably would have written the quote first so I could have had a better idea of the space that was left for the drawing. The Duragraph with the Omniflex nib is undeniably best suited for a very wet ink. My Duraflex is one of my favorite pens when I want to get fancy with my writing and I haven’t had any problems with it since I got it. This Omniflex was a much bigger challenge when I tried to use the dry Kyoto ink. I tried it with some Monteverde Sapphire and it was better behaved. The Kyo-Iro Soft Snow of Ohara is one of the most beautiful inks I have tried in a long time. I might need to get a bottle to add to my collection. It is also perfect for me as a lefty, because it is drier and well behaved.

This pen and ink combo did not play nicely together but on their own, they are great products. The Omniflex Duragraph would be fabulous for anyone that want a flex pen with a classic look. It is great for adding some flair to your creative writing and hand lettering. The Soft Snow of Ohara ink is a great choice for anyone looking for a drier ink that has gorgeous color and depth. It would be great for an alternate note-taking color and is possibly subtle enough for an office environment, although maybe not for official paperwork.

You can find the Conklin Duragraph Purple Nights with an Omniflex nib at GouletPens.com for $52. Kyo-Iro Soft Snow of Ohara is available in a 2ml ink sample for $2.40 or a 40ml bottle for $24.

You could win this pen and ink! In an effort to make entering Monday Matchup a little easier, we’ve done away with the Rafflecopter widget and will be randomly selecting a winner from a randomly chosen platform each week. The entries methods will still be the same: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a blog comment, but you’ll no longer have to complete your entry through Rafflecopter.

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.
  • 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.
  • Here’s how to enter:

The contest is open Monday, August 6, 2018, at 12 pm EDT until Tuesday, August 7, 2018, at 12 pm EDT. 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,
Lydia

August 6th, 2018|Monday Matchup|0 Comments