Home 2017-10-06T17:30:35+00:00

Goulet Q&A Episode 194: Lamy Germany Trip, Brian’s Dream Ink Bottle, and Top 5 Demonstrator Pens!

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about his trip to Lamy HQ, how he’d design an ink bottle, and his top 5 favorite demonstrators.

This week:

Pens/Writing

1. Touzeen H.- Facebook
Your Fountain Pen predictions for 2018?

  • I have to be careful here not to give away privileged information!
  • Pilot’s 100th anniversary will mean we see some epic LE pens, that no one will be able to afford or find
  • Lamy will have both a new Al Star and Safari, can’t say the colors but I think they’ll be well received, they may have something else in the works, too
    • new distributor will get the hang of things, we’ll start to see interesting stuff going on with Lamy in the US
  • You’ll see some interesting stuff from Visconti
  • Dante DelVecchio at Pineider should generate some interesting buzz
  • Don’t know what TWSBI things will be going on, but likely more SE colors
  • Edison will continue to grow, hopefully more Premieres will become available as time goes on
  • Aurora will keep coming out with new stuff
  • I’d really love to see Conid grow and be able to start global distribution
  • Stipula Passaporto may finally exist!
  • Monteverde and Conklin will continue to have new stuff
  • I’m really unsure about ink, I don’t have any real ideas there, more shimmer, probably
  • Notebooks I’m not sure either

2. bklynight27- Instagram
What’s your top 5 fav demonstrators?

3. @namelessnanashi- Twitter
I find the gimmick on the Pilot Justus95 very interesting, but does it add complexity to the maintenance of the pen? How easy is it to disassemble and clean? How would you compare it to the Metal Falcon and Custom912 Falcon? (Assuming you fit them all with CON-70) #GouletQA

  • it’s not so much a gimmick, it’s really functional, but I get what you’re saying
  • the Justus 95 at its softest is really like a Metal Falcon, but the metal body is heavier
  • Custom 912 FA nib writes softer, and requires holding it more upright than the other two, but essentially they all deliver similar results

Ink

4. La Lynne- Facebook
My question is, if you ever had to design an ink bottle (you’ve done ink and pens, so why not ink bottles?) what would it look like? (Assuming you are going for both beauty and practicality) How much ink would you have it holding? What bits of the various bottles would you want to keep? What thing would you do that no one else seems to have thought about? What bits of other bottles would you not use at all?

  • 50ml, just the most practical for me
  • I love the Iroshizuku bottles, Edelstein
  • I’d want a wide neck, for sure
  • some kind of ink reservoir, for filling at low levels (think Lamy, Iroshizuku)
  • Possibly an insert for assisting in filling
  • I’m not super into string on my bottles, in use anyway
  • I really like the concept of the filler tube from the TWSBI inkwells, it’d be cool to develop something more universal there

5. Mher G.- Facebook
I have used pilot mixable color (ones that come with the parallel) on a Rhodia pad (both 80 and 90 gsm) with a pilot falcon but it bled through to the other page , i tried a pilot Namiki cartridge and it didn’t bleed through .i want to ask : 1) what is the difference between pilot mixable color cartridge , pilot namiki and pilot iroshizuku ink ( i have never seen a good explanation anywhere) . 2) what are some other good papers for flex writing and calligraphy that do not bleed through. Have a blessed holiday season keep up the good work

  • all these are different inks
  • Mixable inks are a slightly different formulation, I don’t know chemically what makes them so, but they are more viscous and designed for blending together and flowing specifically in the Parallel pen
  • Namiki/Pilot ink is identical, slightly more water resistant than Iroshizuku
  • Iroshizuku has the most color range

Troubleshooting

6. Roxanne R.- Facebook
I’ve been using my Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo daily for almost a year. Lately, the converter has been getting stuck—really stuck, so stuck that I ruined one converter trying to pull it out with pliers. I’ve replaced the converter and tried to clean everything, but it still sticks. Can you offer any tips? (I use De Atramentis Document Black ink.) While we’re on the subject, do you have any tips for cleaning the nib area? It seems like ink is getting stuck up in places I can’t reach and not getting flushed out with the bulb. I’m afraid to mess too much with it as it’s my most and only expensive pen.

  • it’s sticking for one of two reasons
    • the converter is worn and is flaring out, causing it to stick because of pressure used to hold it in place
    • ink has worked its way in there and is acting like glue to hold the converter in there
  • soak the nib unit overnight in water with dish soap to break up any dried ink
  • if it’s the converter, just get a new one
  • cleaning the nib area of the Decimo is easy, just flush it with water!

Business

7. Souro R.- Facebook
Hello to the awesome GPC team! I’m from India, and due to customs regulations and duties, I have only purchased from you folks once, and that was an amazing, personal experience for me. I know that your main customer base is in the States, so my question is this: how can fountain pen lovers, who cannot purchase from you with any kind of frequency due to geographical location or customs issues, help out you folks? You push out some amazing content which is very helpful for EVERYONE in this field. I just feel that I, and many others like me, owe you for all the education you provide to us. Thank you for helping us write on! Shine on, GPC!

  • this happens a lot, we try our best but we can’t control customs/duties, shipping rates, or currency conversion
  • we have an especially significant international audience on YouTube
  • “voting with your dollars” definitely is meaningful to us, it’s how we all feed our families!
  • if you find value and can’t support us, the best thing you can do is stay engaged, give us feedback, like, comment, share, just be involved in the community and help spread the word
  • don’t feel guilty about soaking it all up (okay, maybe a little), but just share it with others

QOTW: what was the first time you ever traveled out of your home country and why? 

Write On,
Brian Goulet

December 15th, 2017|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Thursday Things: Hygge

A cozy, winter themed flat lay of warm toned fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

Fresh off a snowy weekend here in Virginia, we’re obsessed with all things cozy here at Goulet Pens. This Thursday Things collection features an assortment of pens, inks, and paper perfect for cozying up and writing away the day. Grab a warm blanket, a hot drink, your favorite cuddle buddy, and settle in for some content and comfortable writing with Thursday Things: Hygge. This Danish term is associated with all things relaxing, comfortable, and good for the spirit. What could possibly embody that better than a smooth writing pen, fresh notebook, and your favorite writing spot. Snuggle up and see what Thursday Things: Hygge has to offer.

Featured products from left to right:

A cozy, winter themed flat lay of warm toned fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

A cozy, winter themed flat lay of warm toned fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

Which pen do you find most comfortable for long, low-key writing sessions?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

December 14th, 2017|Thursday Things|6 Comments

Introducing Two New Visconti Pens: Northern Lights Teal and Homo Sapiens Jade

Visconti has no shortage of gorgeous pens in their line up and the two new additions are no exception. The Northern Lights Teal is inspired by the stunning hues seen in the Aurora Borealis phenomenon, or Northern Lights. Not to be outshone, the Homo Sapiens Jade embodies the gorgeous color and qualities of the precious jade stone. Read on to hear more about the inspiration behind each pen, as well as product specifications.

Visconti Northern Lights

Visconti Northern Lights Fountain Pen

The Northern Lights is modeled from the most common color seen in the Northern Lights, a gorgeous green. This color is also seen in the rare blue tea leaf, which symbolizes inner peace and balance. The Visconti Northern Lights was designed to inspire such feelings in the writer while using this pen. This hue is intended to mirror a “pure form of nature and the harmonizing of natural thought (seen in the color yellow) with spiritual thought (seen in the color blue).” This perfectly balanced writing instrument is the ideal reminder to stay at peace and remain balanced throughout the day, despite the chaos of daily life.

Visconti Northern Lights Fountain Pen

Visconti Northern Lights Fountain Pen

This pen is fashioned from acrylic resin with Palladium- plated stainless steel trim. It is limited to 188 pieces worldwide and features a double reservoir filling system and 23kt palladium nib. The Visconti Northern Lights retails for $895, log into your Goulet Pens account to see our best price! We will initially have Medium nib size, with other nib sizes to follow in a few weeks.

Visconti Northern Lights Fountain Pen

Visconti Northern Lights Fountain Pen

Visconti Homo Sapiens Jade

Visconti Homo Sapiens Jade Fountain Pen

The Homo Sapiens Jade is another fine piece of craftsmanship. The cap of this brilliant green demonstrator is fashioned from a solid block of resin to maintain the strength and color of the crown of this pen. It is completed with a genuine Jade stone of the finial. The word “jade” comes from a Latin word meaning “guide” and this pen is sure to guide many writing adventures and lead to many important discoveries. Legend also states that Jade is a key element to reduce fear and influence positive decisions. Armed with this stunning pen, one could definitely feel comfortable making large choices and signing important documents with confidence.

Visconti Homo Sapiens Jade Fountain Pen

Visconti Homo Sapiens Jade Fountain Pen

The Homo Sapiens Jade is also limited to 188 pieces worldwide and is a striking resin demonstrator with palladium accents and a 23kt large palladium nib. The double reservoir power filling system keeps this pen full of ink and ready to write. This beauty retails for $1,150, but you can see our best price when you log into your Goulet Pens account.

Visconti Homo Sapiens Jade Fountain Pen

Do either of these pens strike your fancy? What ink would you use with them?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

December 13th, 2017|Pen News|8 Comments

Diamine Earl Grey with a Lamy Studio Racing Green: Monday Matchup #163

Sanober Khan quote drawn with Diamine Earl Grey ink with a Lamy Studio Racing Green fountain pen.

Hello, everyone, Sarah here! This week, I’m excited to have used the brand new Diamine Earl Grey ink and LAMY Studio Racing Green fountain pen. This ink was voted on and created by the Fountain Pen subreddit community and it was super cool to use an ink with that exciting of a backstory. I read reviews about both the pen and the ink and I was looking forward to getting my hands on them. Read on to hear what I thought!

My inspiration for this matchup came from the name of this ink. It is a lovely name and fitting for the hue. I had already drawn teacups for a previous matchup so I went a different route this time. What goes perfectly with a cup of tea? A comfy armchair, of course! And a good book with my cat too!

I first began by collecting inspirational photos of cozy armchairs online, then sketching the chair out. I took the brush pen and dipped it into a little ink, blocking the basic shadows to get the shape looking more dimensional. I wanted the chair to have a lot of depth as if you could just hop inside the drawing and sit in it. Then, I took the pen and sketched the hard edges of the chair, making lines around the buttons, creases of the fabric, and in the details.

LAMY never fails me. I found the smooth lines and width of the Fine nib to work perfectly for artwork. The Studio was surprisingly heavier than I expected but makes sense for a metal-bodied pen. I found I liked it best unposted as it was a little top heavy when posted. The Earl Grey ink was a bold grey- legible and dark, which I loved. It had a subtle blue cast to it and when I blended it a bit with water on the page, I could see a little bit of purple hues too. Overall, Earl Grey is an elegant ink and it’s made even better because of the story behind it!

This combo would be perfect for any task. The shape of the Studio would be comfortable for long writing sessions and this shade of grey is so versatile for just about anything! I wouldn’t change a thing about this matchup.

Sanober Khan quote drawn with Diamine Earl Grey ink with a Lamy Studio Racing Green fountain pen.

Sanober Khan quote drawn with Diamine Earl Grey ink with a Lamy Studio Racing Green fountain pen.

Sanober Khan quote drawn with Diamine Earl Grey ink with a Lamy Studio Racing Green fountain pen.

Sanober Khan quote drawn with Diamine Earl Grey ink with a Lamy Studio Racing Green fountain pen.

Sanober Khan quote drawn with Diamine Earl Grey ink with a Lamy Studio Racing Green fountain pen.

You can find the LAMY Studio Racing Green at GouletPens.Com for $76. Diamine Earl Grey is available in a 2ml ink sample for $1.25 or an 80ml bottle for $14.95.

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, December 11, 2017, at 12 pm EST until Tuesday, December 12, 2017, 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 does your ideal cozy spot look like?

Write On,
Sarah

December 11th, 2017|Monday Matchup|272 Comments

Goulet Q&A Episode 193: Carrying Pens, Those Dang Converters, and Choosing The Right Nib Size

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about how to carry your pens, keeping track of various brands’ converters, and choosing the right nib size for you!

**Due to some technical hiccups, this week’s Q&A is audio only. We’ll be back to the full video format next week.**

This week:

  • Just got back from Heidelberg, Germany this week visiting the Lamy factory!
  • I recorded this on Nov 22, before my trip
  • I wanted some slightly more evergreen questions, and went with covering some of the fundamentals


Pens/Writing

1) kingofpop771- Instagram
What is the best way to carry an eyedropper pen?

  • there is a lot of appeal for eyedropper pens, it’s a romantic idea
  • if I can carry a ton of ink that’d be amazing!
  • there’s an inherent risk of leaking or burping, so just be aware
  • basically, follow the same rules you would if you were flying/changing altitude
  • the less ink/more air you have in the pen, the more likely it is to burp and get ink in your cap as you carry it
  • it’s best to carry it nib-up
  • try to minimize the jostling, like carrying it around in a purse or backpack that’ll be thrown around a lot
  • Be cognizant of if it DID leak, where it’d leak! keeping it inside a pen sleeve, pocket, back, etc so it is contained somewhat
  • it’s not like these things leak all the time, but the risk is higher with an eyedropper pen so just be aware of it


2) yogatoride- Instagram
What are some of the best ways to carry your pen on your person if you only want to carry one? Many of the cases I see are for multiple pens, but often times I only want to carry the one pen.

  • you don’t have to use a case at all, it depends on your level of comfort
  • clip it into your pocket/shirt, etc
  • pen sleeve works GREAT, this is what I use
  • there are individual pen cases, but they often aren’t popular because they actually cost as much or more to make than larger ones, believe it or not
  • a lot of the cost with pen cases is in the labor, and it’s harder to work on smaller objects than big ones
  • there are some manufacturers that make individual cases
  • We carry Aston slips for $13.90, Visconti single cases for $85
  • I’ve seen a lot of handmade cloth and denim cases on Etsy and other craft sites at a reasonable price, too
  • if there’s a lot of interest in these I can explore, but the leather options have been pretty expensive and hasn’t generated a lot of interest in the past
  • If you carry around a notebook all the time too, consider a pen holder for your notebook, and carry them together
  • Leuchtturm pen holder, Midori


3) suepertonic- Instagram
What makes a flex nib able to flex? (e.g. shape, material, thickness, the way that it’s made, etc.)

  • all of the above!
  • sounds obvious, but flexibility is the key here
  • that can be achieved in multiple ways
  • softness of the material itself, like gold or palladium being softer than steel
  • the shape of the nib, like the Aurora 88 flex having less material than the regular 88 or Optima
  • you can achieve flex by removing material, either by cutting it out (Aurora, Edison) or by shaving the underside to weaken the metal
  • the inherent challenge is in having metal that’s weak enough to flex but strong enough to bounce back to it’s original form
  • that’s where the real artistry comes in!


4) arachnesthreads- Instagram
I bought a Stipula Etruria and it came with a registration/warranty to fill out and send back to Stipula. I did but I never heard back from them. What is this for? What can you tell me about it?

  • I don’t know about hearing back, I don’t know how common that is from any manufacturer, let alone Stipula
  • I don’t have any specific insight into what Stipula’s doing with this information, but I’ll speak in more general terms based on my understanding of why companies do warranty cards
    • better understanding of who their customers are
    • more efficient process in place if warranty service is ever needed
    • ensures legitimacy of the purchase through an authorized retailer (no knock-offs)
  • manufacturers will make their products, and maaaaybe sell direct sometimes, but often sell to different distributors throughout the world, who then sell to retailers
  • the reason there’s this distribution channel is because the world is a big place, there are a lot of regulations, laws, and knowledge required about how to service customers in that region most effectively
  • by the time pens work their way all the way down the distribution chain, manufacturers could be completely out of touch with the end user
  • this is especially true for B&M stores, because they don’t always have the ability to keep record of who their customers are
  • online, you can create an account and save your information, so there’s already a record of your purchase, which serves the purpose of the warranty card (unless the retailer goes out of business)
  • still MUCH of the world is brick-and-mortar, and the manufacturer likely will prefer to have your proof of purchase directly
  • other manufacturers I’ve seen have used these cards to try to gather information about their customers for targeted service or marketing efforts, so there will be demographic information or other questions about which products you’re interested in
  • given how easy it is to do more targeted marketing online these days, this isn’t likely extremely effective
  • most pen companies don’t even do warranty cards
  • when they do, it’s totally up to you whether you want to do them, I haven’t yet heard of someone having warranty service denied because they didn’t fill out the card, but it definitely doesn’t hurt


5) amo21mn- Instagram
How does one refrain from inking up all their pens? I’m asking for a friend.

  • you’re asking MEEEEE?
  • I don’t know, I keep between 20-40 pens inked at any one time, and pen cleaning is basically a second hobby of mine 😉
  • it depends how many you have and how often you use them, you may never have to worry about having less than all your pens inked up!
  • When you get to more than 1 pen cleaning per day, it gets a bit much to manage
  • the best technique I’ve found is to put an arbitrary limit on it, just pick a number that makes sense
  • if you have a physical pen case like an Aston Case 10 or Girologio 12 case, say you will only keep inked pens in there and after that it’s a 1-in-1-out policy there
  • it’s really up to you though, whatever the heck makes sense for you


6) Jim P- Facebook
I have dozens of FPs from a variety of manufacturers. Most of them have converters. Except for my most used pens, I’ve lost track of which converter goes with which pen. Is there an easy way to figure out which converter goes with which pen? Most converters don’t seem to have a company/mfr name etched into them. Thanks

  • easy might be a relative term here
  • We do have a cartridge/converter guide here
  • that’s probably the best way, and you can look up which converter is which on the product pages on our site (I wonder if we could link to them from this guide, I’ll look into that)
  • not all companies put their names on the converter, that’s true
  • when in doubt, take a picture and tag my team on Instagram, FB, or Twitter, or shoot us an email at info@gouletpens.com and we’ll help you out!
  • Also, forums like FPN or FPGeeks can be a resource for help, especially if it’s an older pen or one we don’t carry


7) Roshan- Email
I have a question on nib sizes and speed of writing. I have a Parker Vector F nib and a Sheaffer Safaris M nib. While writing with the F nib I am able to write slowly and produce more beautiful letters than when I write with the M nib. My handwriting is not too small and not large. Does the nib size make the pen a slow or fast writer ? Would you advise buying F nib pens or M nib pens ?

  • I don’t know that inherently the nib size itself slows down or speeds up anyone’s writing
  • it will really depend on the individual
  • physically speaking, the only thing “slowing you down” would be additional friction on the page between the nib and the paper, and that’s going to be so minimal that it’s insignificant
  • there will be a felt difference (super fine nibs feel scratchier than broads, usually)
  • you may feel more comfortable writing with some nib sizes over others, so the answer to this is that yes, it will be factor, but it will be different for every single person and you don’t really know how it’ll impact you until you try different nibs


QOTW: How many pens do you keep inked up at one time? 

Write On,
Brian Goulet

December 8th, 2017|Goulet Q&A|33 Comments

Thursday Things: Technophile

A flat lay of black and stealthy fountain pens, notebooks, and ink for the techie.

Fountain pens may not be new technology, but they sure do look the part. Streamlined and clean, the items featured in this collection will fit any technophile’s style. Like the neat and orderly nature of a set of binary code, these pens will help you write your way to a tidy, organized day. Thursday Things: Technophile brings together pens and inks that are reserved and ready for highly detailed work. Be on the cutting edge of style with the old school technology of a simple fountain pen.

Featured products from left to right:

A flat lay of black and stealthy fountain pens, notebooks, and ink for the techie.

Lamy Aion Fountain Pens- OliveSilver and Black

A flat lay of black and stealthy fountain pens, notebooks, and ink for the techie.

What is your favorite streamlined fountain pen?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

December 7th, 2017|Thursday Things|8 Comments