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In this episode, I talk about wood pens, pigmented inks, and using shimmering inks.

This week:
  • Watched Star Wars trilogy and son lost a tooth

New/Upcoming Products: – (2:51)

Pens/Writing – (10:25)

1) csf_photo- Instagram – (10:27)
You’ve mentioned your humble beginnings as a Pen Maker several times and showed us some of your wooden pens as well. How come there aren’t many wooden bodied pens available on the site? Are they just not popular enough? Or is it that they aren’t practical and reliable? Are there any manufactures that offer wooden pens?
  • there are not a whole lot of them, it’s a difficult material to work with
  • wood is living, even after it’s turned into a pen
  • you can have cracking, movement, all kinds of issues
  • wood stains, it breathes, moves, swells with moisture, and that is a nightmare to work with
  • wood in pens is difficult to stabilize, because you have to use harder metal components that don’t move in the same way wood does
  • there are some wood pens, Faber-Castell does some of these especially with their Graf Von Faber-Castell (their high end line)
  • the prices go up real quick!
  • there may be some interest, but we haven’t had a lot of people asking for them
  • I would LOVE to sell more wood pens, but it’s a very niche market
  • maybe I should just try some ;)
  • We have done some lower-end FC wood pens, they did so-so
  • other brands will do wood pens every now and then, but it’s usually LE/SE and they don’t stay long
  • Pilot just did some, has done VP LE in the past

2) fountain.pens- Instagram – (22:41)

Challenge question: You have $50-60 in your pocket. What pen/ink/paper combo would you buy within’ that budget range?
3) yaymalika- Instagram – (28:15)
Just started watching your 101 video series, and I’m wondering – what do you actually _write_ with all those pens?? Our world is mostly typed now, and I feel I have to go out of my way to find outlets to practice my handwriting.
  • what CAN’T you write????
  • seriously though, I write what I want to, partly because I just love physically holding a pen in my hand
  • I write a lot of 1-on-1 meeting notes by hand, especially at meetings with a relational focus
  • I have a personal journal I write in at night
  • I write short to-do lists for around the house, stuff I intend to do in that day
  • post-it notes
  • thank you cards/notes for my team or family
  • I absolutely have more pen than I will ever need purely for practical writing’s sake, I’m a collector/hoarder/acquirer at this point
  • a lot folks I know are bullet journaling, planning, doodling, or doing a lot of what I’m doing and loving it
  • it’s often done in tandem with technology, and what feels natural as a balance is different for every person
  • the fun is in the journey!
4) made.this.to.follow.one.person- Instagram – (37:10)
What is the most economical way to try different nib sizes? I love the look of a B or BB nib and am looking to try one out before investing in a more expensive pen. Is a Kaweco sport the way to go for trying bolder nib sizes?
  • Kaweco is not a bad option, we don’t carry their full range of nibs by some retailers do
  • their spare nibs are not readily available but they can be found
  • the only brand I can think of in the “affordable” range that even offers a BB
  • Goulet nibs are EF, F, M, B, 1.1 and 1.5, a good range
  • #6 in size, fit well into a cheap Jinhao x450, x750, or 159
  • the broader nibs are tough to get at all, let alone in less expensive pens

Ink – (42:36)

5) thereallucas2016- Instagram – (42:39)

What is the difference between pigmented and non pigmented inks? Are they better for my pen or perhaps worse? I received a random sample package (great BTW) with a pigmented blue from platinum and don’t want to put it I’m my pen before I know how it will behave
  • Most FP inks are dye-based, so they’re water, dye, and some other stuff but is all liquid
  • Pigmented inks actually have fine powder (pigment) in them to give them color that are suspended in the liquid
  • Pigmented inks are better in some ways, worse in others
  • pigmented inks are more resistant to UV, very archival, are better for really ink resistant paper, and for watercolor/art stuff
  • they are more likely to clog, and are more difficult to clean from the pen if it dries up in it
  • you have to be a little more diligent using/cleaning them, but it’s nothing too cumbersome
  • I haven’t heard of people “ruining” their pens with pigmented inks (like with calligraphy inks, which are a different story)
  • it’s not anything to be scared of, just know you have to step up your pen maintenance game with pigmented inks
6) the_film_darkroom- Instagram – (47:55)
What inks do you recommend that aren’t black/blue but are archival quality?
What is the best way to shake a pen full of shimmer ink to stir up the particles without getting your cap full of ink? Should a pen full of shimmer ink be stored nib-up or sideways? Do pens with shimmer ink tend to hard start? Or is that just me?”
  • slowly, it’s not so much a shake but just continuous movement
  • storing nib up or sideways both work, I don’t know that it matters too much either way
  • nib down may be a little harder starting
  • they can definitely be a little harder to start, that’s not unusual, it’s a characteristic of the stuff that’s in the ink
  • a little more cleaning/maintenance is required, more regular use is good

Business – (01:00:53)

8) laronsworth- Instagram – (01:00:57)

I know with companies like Pilot you work with their US division but do you ever have the option of carrying their products intended for Asia if you believe your customer base would respond well. Or are you able to special order at the very least?
  • it’s going to be different for every brand/distributor
  • distributors help in a lot more ways than people realize
  • one challenge is the pens you see overseas that we don’t have in the US
  • sometimes we can special order (thought not easily with Pilot), but minimum quantities become really high and often don’t make it worth it
  • there’s a breakeven/threshold with every product in terms of how many people want it and if/when it will be profitable to import (even by special order), and that’s hard to determine sometimes
  • Pilot is a LARGE company, and their minimums on special orders are pretty astronomical
  • Other brands we’ve talked about making in a special color and quantities were in the range of 50,000 pens
  • I definitely think there are some products that would do well, and I’m always asking/advocating for them, but it’s seldom that the demand just from one store will justify a special order to a distributor
  • there needs to be a groundswell of demand for specific products to get on their radar
  • I am doing a more intentional job of trying to bring in special things, it’s always an uphill battle though

QOTW: What do you all actually use your pens to write?? – (01:15:42)

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