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In this episode, I talk about useless ink swabs, designing a Tomoe River notebook, and where I disagree with the whole fountain pen community!
This week:
  • Easter/Holy Week gauntlet
  • prepping for vacation

New/Upcoming Products: – (1:41)

  • restocked a lot of random products we’ve been backordered for a while
  • Montegrappa inks
  • Doubling up on Q&A this week to publish one for next week!
  • Lamy Dialog 3 is coming back! in black

Pens/Writing – (3:35)
1) Evan M.- Facebook – (3:36)
So I just got a new aurora flex 88. my question is. is there a break in period or anything with it? because my dreamtouch and m1000 nibs flex wayyyy more than this one. it’s not disappointing or anything it goes from xxf to b but I expected more from a “vintage flex”.. ps best company ever
  • there’s a difference between softness and flex
  • Visconti Palladium nibs and Pelikan m1000 nibs are softer, yes
  • the problem if you try to flex these out is they will spring and not bounce back properly
  • Aurora did several iterations of softness in developing their 88 flex nib, including softer ones than this
  • they felt they sprung too easily, so they dialed it back
  • Omas nibs in my mind were some of the softest modern flex nibs available, but people sprung them a LOT
  • I see where Aurora’s coming from, they were going more for maximum line variation and maximum bounce back with minimal risk of springing the tines
  • that said, there will be a break in over time, so it can only get softer, yes

2) zdia- Instagram – (8:25)

I’ve always wondered what exactly a converter converts. Why is it called a converter? What does it convert, and into what? A boring cartridge pen into an exciting breadth of ink possibilities? That’s my best guess… can you help?
  • you pretty much answered your own question
  • converters “convert” cartridge pens into pens that can use bottled ink of any brand
  • they’re often referred to just as “converters” when their more official designation is actually “cartridge/converters” or C/C like you see online
  • other pens that have built in mechanisms don’t have anything to convert to, so they just go by their filling type (piston, vacuum, etc)
  • Some cartridge/converter pens can even be eyedropper “converted” too, further demonstrating what that term is actually accomplishing

Ink – (12:48)
3) mnmlscholar- Instagram – (12:50)
Ink reviews often have huge swatches of the ink smeared or swabbed onto a page. But in my experience, inks rarely look like that when I write with them. So I tend to focus on the writing samples in the reviews to guesstimate what it might look like in my own pen, and on my own paper. What should I be learning about an ink from the giant ink swatches on GouletPens (and reviews)?
  • ink swabs have been used online to show inks for as long as I’ve been conscious of the existence of fountain pens
  • it’s true, the swabs themselves do look different than it does in a pen, but at a glance they show the most dramatic representation of the color
  • especially in digital form, the color can be hard to see just in the writing, unless you are REALLY zoomed in
  • they’re also, frankly, just a lot faster to do!
  • writing samples are definitely more representative, and a full ink review even better!
  • We hands down do a swab for all our inks, writing samples or ink reviews when we can/have time, and highly encourage ink samples
  • there’s just nothing like getting to use it yourself!
Paper – (19:40)

4) acosta_maite- Instagram – (19:41)
In Q&A Episode 163 @48:33, regarding TRP, you mentioned that you would have to design a new notebook format for meetings, etc. Is that something you would seriously consider? A Goulet Journal with TRP in A5 Dot Grid with tons of pages would be awesome. Do you think that is something we could hope for anytime soon?
  • it is something I would consider, have/am considering
  • it’s complicated, paper is really tough to do well and at a reasonable price
  • in order to offer notebooks at a reasonable price you have to do LARGE quantities, so you have to be pretty darn committed to make it happen
  • it’s very speculative
  • a Goulet journal in A5 with dot Tomoe paper could be possible, but I’d need some feedback about what you’d honestly be willing to pay for it…?
Personal – (26:13)

5) Hope F.- Facebook – (26:15)

Do you have any opinions/preferences that aren’t popular in the fountain pen community? I myself love hearing some feedback while I write, and I find something oddly satisfying about a little bit of echo on the page, but I find that not many people agree. Your videos are what got me into fountain pens. Thank-you to you and the Goulet Pen team.
  • if there’s one thing I’ve learned about the fountain pen community, it’s that if you ask 10 people what they think, you’ll get 10 different opinions!
  • that said, there are some fairly common things that people agree on
  • but for everything that the community leans towards, there’s an equally if not greater enthusiastic minority that feels the complete opposite
  • Here’s a couple of my preferences you may or may not agree with:
  • Cartridge converter pens are generally my favorite! They’re so easy to clean, if the mechanism acts up it’s a couple of dollars to replace it, and they’re generally more affordable!
  • Broader nibs make my handwriting better- most people feel the opposite, that fine nibs make their writing better, and I still just don’t understand that!
  • My handwriting looks best at about 70% max speed- generally slowing down helps most people, but I actually write better when I’m pushing my speed just a bit
  • You don’t have to use fountain pens for EVERYTHING- I’m as much a convert as anyone, but there are times when I just will not even bother (carbon paper, signing receipts)
  • I ink and carry all my pens, price be darned- while I definitely am more careful with my particularly rare or meaningful pens, I feel they are meant to be used and will never buy a pen with the intention of storing it away and never using it, mine are all fair game
  • Paper can never be too smooth- I can appreciate paper with a little bite, but I have not yet experienced a trifecta that’s TOO smooth for my liking

QOTW: What fountain pen opinions/preferences do you have that seem to be against the tide of the rest of the pen community? – (39:42)

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