Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.In this episode, I talk about fearing the infamous Noodler’s Baystate Blue, whether you should buy the Lamy 2000 Black Amber LE or Visconti Homo Sapiens, and how I’m addressing the aging FP community.

This week:
  • in-laws were in town, great visit
  • Ellie had a friends’ birthday party and it was awesome
  • lots of choir singing for us this week, (5 out of 8 days)
  • Easter egg hunts for days

New/Upcoming Products – (2:25)

Pens/Writing – (5:37)

1) drjfrs- Instagram – (5:38)

I am torn between getting the Lamy 2000, 50th anniversary fountain pen and the Visconti Homo Sapiens Oversize fountain pen and the Visconti Homo Sapiens Midi fountain pen. Any suggestions how to go about choosing one over the other.
  • tough call!
  • I love both, honestly
  • HS oversize is my go to daily carry pen at the moment
  • I’m not real big (pun!) on the Midi, personally
  • Lamy 2000EF nib is awesome and I do enjoy it
  • LAMY 2000 Black is my nightly journaling pen that I keep on my nightstand
  • the Black Amber is nice, but it’s a pretty big premium over the Black so you have to really appreciate the LE aspect of it
  • One thing that does help is we’ve been running the promotion with buy a Black Amber get a Black one along with it, that helps
  • if it really comes down to one or the other and all else is equal, I’d be inclined to go 2000 Black Amber if for no other reason than it’s limited and will not be available once they’re all gone!

Ink – (10:54)
2) weeksie98- Instagram – (10:57)
Hey Brian, I read the manufacturers guide to a few of my pens (I got really bored, okay) and I noticed that they always seem to recommend that you use only their inks, because their formulation is meant to be optimised to the pen. I’m not going to restrict myself to one brand of ink no matter what the manufacturer says, but do you think there’s actually something in the idea that a manufacturer’s ink will work better in their pens than others? Loving the Q&A!
  • yes, that’s not super uncommon
  • I equate it to the same reason a car company tells you to always take your car to a dealer, or only put a certain brand of oil in the engine
  • It’s not that any other ink outside of that brands’ WILL harm your pen, but that’s the only ink within their control
  • some people buy pens and use incorrect types of ink, boutique inks with some more extreme properties, etc, and pen companies don’t want the liability of warrantying ink they can’t control
  • the vast majority of fountain pen inks will work without issue in the vast majority of pens
  • you may want to take extra consideration with vintage pens (especially ones with sacs) with some boutique inks, do your research and only go with what you’re comfortable using
3) Cynthia B.- Facebook – (18:02)
After watching quite a few of Brian’s videos, I now have an irrational fear of Noodler’s Baystate Blue ink. Every time Brian mentions Baystate Blue in a video, it’s because of an issue that the ink could cause with whatever he’s demonstrating (the ink can stain, it’s hard to clean, you have to use bleach to clean it out, don’t mix with other inks, etc.). If Baystate Blue is so amazingly “complicated”, what are the properties of this ink that would make people want to use it despite its many complications?
  • there’s really nothing to fear with Baystate Blue, just realize that it’s different than normal ink
  • it’s incredibly vibrant, and that is the appeal
  • it’s really not hard to clean, if you use the right stuff (10-25% bleach in water)
  • bottom line, it’s just one ink out of hundreds, and it’s actually pretty easy to stay away from it so no need to fear it

Troubleshooting – (35:18)

4) reed.thoughts- Instagram – (35:21)

I have different piston fillers which include Montblanc, twsbi, and others… But it.seems sometimes ink gets past the piston’s seal. How can I remedy this? Not how to clean it, but how to prevent this from happening at all!!
  • ink slips back there because it’s getting past the seal, period
  • on some pens, you can do more than others to help prevent it
  • if it’s a failed seal (rare, especially on a new pen) have it replaced
  • if it’s not failed, then you can simply put silicone grease on it to help (especially if it’s a double-walled seal like the TWSBI)
  • if ink gets past the seal, it’s really not the end of the world (unless it’s leaking and dripping out of the pen)
  • it’s likely more an aesthetic thing than anything

Business – (40:25)

5) The Pen Penchant- YouTube – (40:35)
Hello, Brian and crew! First of all, thanks for all of the wonderful work you do for the FP community. It has been a pleasure to see your business grow before our very eyes over the years. My question for you is what would you like to see in fountain pen review content? Anything you’re not seeing but would like to? Thanks, and keep up the fantastic work.
  • I’m like anyone else, I like to see the specific things I have questions about and little else!
  • I actually show a lot of what it is I think I’d like to see in the videos we do here, that’s no accident
  • I like comparisons, which I know are hard and take a ton of time to do
  • close up details, macro stuff
  • a little light on the technical specs, I don’t really need tons of facts and data thrown at me, but I do like some generalized assessment of the facts
  • overviews like why this thing is special, how it stacks up against other similar things, what are the best/worst parts of it, etc
  • I love puns, clever inside jokes, and just genuine enthusiasm!

6) Matthew Beddow- YouTube – (45:45)

Recently i’ve been discussing the future of Fountain Pens with a Reviewer ‘Larry Berrones‘ and a question that came out of that discussion was : Do you have any Metrics to measure the age of people purchasing Pens and Ink , obviously this is very important to know if you’re going to project sales over a long period because if the Data suggested that it was mostly older people as a percentage then eventually the sale will decline ,without being morbid,as these older people get too old to write or pass on. I am concerned , as many of us are, that the fountain pen may decline and possibly disappear if the market shrinks. If you could answer that one i love to understand what you currently do measure and what your thoughts are.
  • if you’ve followed me this hits on my 2009 “epiphany” at the DC Pen Show
  • I saw a lot of gray haired folks there, and I saw a super-long term problem of young people absent from carrying on the FP legacy
  • I sought to change this, and it’s driven me from day one
  • all these videos, all the pictures, content, our site, the tools, it’s all to educate and make it easier for new users (a lot of whom will be younger)
  • we don’t track any of this for specific individuals, our tools are not overly sophisticated
  • I don’t want you to think this is a Big Brother/1984 situation here
  • there are analytic tools we use to view web traffic, click-throughs on our content, and a lot of other things because it’s just smart for us to know what’s working well for you
  • as far as age goes we have some relatively reliable assumptions we can make based on the data we have and it’s actually quite encouraging
  • specific numbers are proprietary and frankly aren’t entirely relevant, I trust my gut more than the data
  • the majority of our customers are not very close to “signing off” their fountain pen lifestyle for one reason or another
  • a small percentage are retirement age, but the overwhelming majority of our crowd is working professionals
  • we put out content on a lot of platforms where (relatively) younger people find us, and that helps keep new people getting into the hobby, so I’m much less concerned about this than I would be if we weren’t so involved in social media
QOTW: Have you ever actively recruited someone into fountain pens? Whom? – (50:34)
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