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In this episode, I talk about oddball ink colors, pen/ink/paper to write a letter to Santa, and official names for pen grips (who knew?).

This week:
  • Sarah and Ross married
  • full swing of holidays
  • extended hours, working harder, synchronizing lunches
Pens/Writing – (8:20)

1) @Ziu_Original- Twitter – (8:23)
Can some fountain pen nibs wear more quickly than other nibs under same circumstance?
  • yes, they can
  • honestly, unless you’re using one pen for years and years, you probably won’t see noticeable wear
  • if you are using it for 5-10 years, you can wear down the tip
  • different companies use different grades of tipping material
  • I don’t really know whose is better/worse than others, you can mostly assume the price reflects the quality
  • talking to nibmeisters, their grinds are affected by the hardness of tipping material, I just don’t quite know enough to know which are which

2) Mary P.- Facebook – (13:52)

Do you think someone new to fountain pens should stick with steel nibs for a while before they jump into a gold nib purchase or does the extra time with steel nibs not necessarily make a gold nib decision easier?
  • there is a big price jump up to gold nibs, that’s the main issue
  • when first getting into pens, it’s good to learn which nib sizes, filling mechanisms, and general pen size/shape you prefer
  • it’s easier to cycle through a few steel nib pens first
  • gold nibs are a little more nuanced, you may appreciate it more having used steel nibs first
  • if you have the means to jump right into gold nibs, then more power to you!
  • Top 5 Entry Level Gold Nib Pens would be the place to start
  • Pilot VP, Pilot Falcon, Lamy 2000, Pilot Custom 74, Platinum 3776
3) Amber B.- Facebook – (20:08)
Lydia and Susan already helped me with this, but it has to be an issue for others as well (I hope?). My Pilot Metropolitan cuts into my thumb, which led me to research pen grasps. I have a Lateral Tripod grasp, which is why the step in the Metro hurts me. I realize that pens like the beautiful Vanishing Point are likely not in my future. Any other pens that I might stay away from or look more into?

4) Mattia M.- Facebook – (33:41)
Best fountain pen, paper and ink to write to Santa?

Ink – (36:23)

5) Anne P.- Facebook – (36:26)
I love gold leaf, and I want to achieve that illustrated manuscript effect, but I know calligraphy ink doesn’t work in fountain pens. What is the goldest ink I could use?
  • Diamine Shimmertastic Golden Sands is pretty great
  • it’s not going to really look like TRUE gilding though
  • calligraphy is does look more like it, but that requires dip pens

6) fp.geek.- Instagram – (39:09)

Why do ink companies sell ink in such large bottles? How do they get a constant flow of income (ink pun) if they only sell bottles to the consumer every few years? My black ink (which I use daily) is only half empty after one year.
  • there’s certainly some logic to that
  • I think this was more of how people used to buy bottled ink, with only having a few colors
  • color offerings have exploded in recent years
  • fountain pen die-hards are rarely finishing an entire bottle of ink, and will often buy more than enough to last a lifetime!
  • As for the bottle size, the actual cost of the ink itself is only part of it, it’s the bottle, shipping, marketing, labor in bottling, etc that really drives cost
  • making smaller bottles would only save a fraction of the cost, and would actually negatively impact profitability in many cases
7) yung_zetton- Instagram – (44:13)
Hey, Brian, I know you’re a big fan of blue inks, but I wondered if perhaps you have any favorite inks that are really oddball colors? Stuff like R&K Alt-goldgrun or Noodler’s Dragon Napalm that don’t have many colors like them.
8) nicolas.crews- Instagram – (48:28)
Extra soft toothbrushes to clean removable feeds after using shimmering inks?
  • yup! totally legit practice, I highly recommend it
  • removing the feed is not always feasible on every pen, so you’ll have to be careful


9) Marcos G.- Facebook – (49:46)
I’ve heard that the Visconti Homo Sapiens lava pens, nib section tend to retain ink after being inked up . What would be the best way to avoid this?
  • that is true, I have used mine a lot
  • I haven’t found it to be particularly troublesome
  • a wet paper towel or tissue will wipe it away pretty easily
  • this same thing can happen with ebonite or other hygroscopic materials
QOTW: What’s the biggest “win” that you feel when using fountain pens? – (54:44)
Thanks so much for joining us this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet