Goulet Q&A Episode 178: The Strangest Inks, Making A Goulet Pen, and Movin’ On Up!

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 the strangest inks I’ve tried, making a Goulet pen, and moving on up!

This week:
New/Upcoming Products: – (8:35)

Pens/Writing – (11:35)

1) William Y.- Facebook – (11:36)
What are your thoughts on putting in a little bit a liquid soap into flex pens to stop them from railroading? My Pilot Falcon seems to railroad a lot even with pilot ink but a little soap solve the issue completely. Love to hear your thoughts.
  • I’ve heard of some folks doing this, or just adding straight glycerine
  • honestly, I haven’t tried it myself so I don’t have firsthand experience
  • the people I’ve heard do it generally like it, though it’s a “do at your own risk”
  • if you want to experiment with it, try in small quantities first, as you won’t be able to undo it
  • if your Falcon is railroading, you could have other things going on too, like needing to slow down or the pen needing a good cleaning, or flexing more than it can really handle
2) Dylon K.- Twitter – (14:27)
Could you do a comparison between Platinum Maki-e pens and Namiki Maki-e pens? Thanks! Also the GPC Team is wonderful!
  • sure! 
  • There are different grades of Maki-e, for certain
  • Both companies use a variety of different techniques, and the cost of the pen is fairly correlated to the time/skill involved in the Maki-e 
  • Check out our blog post from May 25, 2016 on Namiki Maki-e
  • Hira- flat Maki-e (easiest)
  • Togidashi- burnished (harder)
  • Taka- raised (hardest)
  • combinations of these can be used, to add complexity
  • Raden

Ink – (22:50)

3) nahnat- Instagram – (22:52)

What are some of the strangest and interesting inks you have tried? I just watched Brian’s video on noodlers blue nose bear and want to know if there are any other similarly weird inks!
(On Iroshizuku post) why exactly did they drop the price? I’ve been hearing different things, but mainly that the price will drop because the bottles are no longer handmade. Either way I’m happy, but I’m still curious!
  • there have been a lot of rumors flying around, no doubt
  • the bottles were previously made by hand
  • Pilot now sells them in quantities where machining them is economical, which drastically brings down the price
  • they will still be glass, I’m told you won’t even notice the difference
  • we likely won’t see them come through for a while, because Pilot USA is still working through old stock

Troubleshooting – (32:02)

5) aliaskiran- Instagram – (32:04)

I have a Pilot Decimo that I absolutely love, but sometimes it “spits” little droplets of ink when clicking it. I saw it suggested online to not submerge the nib completely in the ink when filling, to avoid it getting into nooks and crannies that are hard to clean, so now I always remove the cartridge and fill that with a syringe. That seemed to have done the trick, but now it’s happening again. Is this something you’ve encountered, and do you have any further suggestions that might fix it? Naturally I’d prefer the ink to land where I actually put the nib down, rather than unintentionally decorating my paper with colourful splatter. Love the Q&As, keep up the good work!
  • not submerging the ink when filling will help temporarily, but eventually may do it
  • I suspect there’s some use/carry/environmental factor here
  • I’ve never experienced it firsthand
  • I suspect ink has gotten into the trap door, and is being flicked out when you click it
  • rinse out the front section of the pen with water next time you think of it, see if that helps

Business – (37:38)

6) chudfumpy- Instagram – (37:39)

Brian, you started off making pens, you currently supply your own nibs, surely you must be itching to design and produce a complete fountain pen? “The Goulet Pen” or would business etiquette prohibit such a venture?

  • yes and no
  • manufacturing is a whole new setup from the operation we have going on
  • it’s something I’ve always considered getting back into since that’s part of our history
  • it’s yet to become a concrete plan, but we did get a larger space with this possibility in mind
  • there are likely other avenues we’d pursue first, like co-branding (Edison, Conklin)
QOTW: What would you hope to see someday in a Goulet pen? Features, colors, filling mechanism, price, etc? – (47:54)

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
2017-10-11T14:03:25+00:00 July 21st, 2017|Goulet Q&A|36 Comments
  • Kimy

    QOTW: I like your co-branding. Honestly, I’d love to see a Goulet collaboration with Pilot. Of course, I’m partial toward the capless, but a Goulet blue decimo would be cool. Goulet Maki-e would be cool, but oh such a process and expense. But really, I like you all just as you are, too, without any major manufacturing stuffs. Exclusives through co-branding works for me. <3

    • ec

      Pilot pens are probably my overall favorites, too! Definitely something in Goulet Pens blue, and not too expensive, please!

  • Lesley Schultz

    QOTW: I like the co-branding idea. You are excellent at what you do with the online retail, one of the best I have ever seen. Stick with that, and let the manufacturers do what they do. I would like to see something in the $50-$75 price range. As for color I am partial to purple, but I also like sparkles on any color.

    Good luck with the move! I know how big of an undertaking it is, whether personally or professionally. Once everyone is in and settled, I would love an online tour (in one of your fabulous videos) of the new space. Lots of us are curious as to how the operation works at this level. I know that it can take a good 6 months to a year to adjust to a new space after a move, so I can be patient.

  • Christine Slocum

    QOTW: Rainbow, sparkles, something bombastically colorful.

    Here’s a question: Do you ever intentionally coordinate your Q&A outfits with products? That shirt nearly completely matched the Aurora 88.

    • Lesley Schultz

      I concur, I could barely see the pen!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Hahaha I think that was purely accidental

  • Shaavazul

    QOTW: I want a GOOD green colored pen that is less than $150. No wimpy, neon, pale, or slightly blue green, nor a green that is too dark it’s almost black. Somewhere between Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-ryoku and the dark pooling color of Diamine Sherwood Green. And if it were retractable…well that would just be a dream come true!!

  • MP

    Personally, I love your Edison Nouveau Premieres and can’t imagine you doing much better than that on a Goulet pen. I think the Orange Conklin you just did looks great too.

  • Waski the Squirrel

    I concur on the co-branding idea. You are known as pen retailers, not pen makers.

    Blue isn’t my favorite color, but your pen would need to be at least offered in a Goulet Blue finish with a subtle inksplash logo, probably in gold or silver. The ideal price point for something like this would be between a Conklin Duragraph and a Lamy 2000: nice, but not so nice no one can afford it.

    I’m not a fan of metal pens, but some kind of acrylic and a little bit of unique character would be nice. Naturally, it has to come with a Goulet nib! A choice that includes the new Jowo flex nib might be fun, but you already have a good range of nibs without it.

    I’m actually picturing the finish of a 1950s Majestic I own (brown strips with ripples) but in Goulet blue and definitely play up the darker parts of your ink splash color. I wish I could put put a photo in this post! When I read your QOTW, I immediately pictured a blue Majestic, but I don’t want it to be a copy of a vintage pen.

    To keep costs down, a cartridge-converter would probably be the best mechanics. Let’s see: maybe either a metal cap, like the vintage Aurora 88, or else a cap in the same finish as the pen with only a single trim ring? Keep a simple finial, probably with your logo, on the cap. In my mind, the finish itself provides a good finial for the barrel. A more modern clip would be better. Not as plain and blocky as a Lamy 2000, but not a lot of ornamentation either. I like the Platinum 3776 clips or the subtle effect on the Platinum President. Even the Pilot Justus 95 or, for a more retro look, the Pan 52 (Norwegian Brand).

    If you can tell, I’ve thought a lot about my fantasy pen. I had to make some modifications to make it Goulet specific.

    And: on the Iroshizuku I’m really excited. I love Take Sumi as a black ink. I recently went through choosing a black ink and picked a different brand. Take Sumi missed the cut due to price. I may have to revisit my decision.

  • Lisa Vierra

    I think co-branding or exclusives are the way to go. Personally, a Goulet Blue and Ice pen from Franklin-Christoph. Or Whatever Rachel’s favorite color and Ice. They could be called the Brian and the Rachel. This may be insane since I don’t know how much collaboration they do. J. Brooks has collaborated some with materials lately. Anyhow, that is what would make my heart skip a beat.

    • MP

      I would love a collaboration with Franklin-Christoph. Great idea for the Brian and Rachel pens! πŸ™‚

  • peter hofmann

    Is the new Visconti Vincent’s chair a re-issue? Just asking as I have one which I bought a few years ago.

  • David L.

    QOTW: I would love to see a Goulet pen. I would like to see it with a vintage flattop design in a dark blue, burgundy, or black. Filling mechanism would be cartridge converter, and eyedropper(?). Price, somewhere between $50-150. I thought (am thinking) of beginning my own company. Wood products. Anywhere from bowls, cups, and baby rattles to tables and chairs. Now that you mention it, maybe some wood or acrylic pens. I love carpentry. Keep co-branding please! I love what comes out!!

  • Karl

    Fascinating Q&A, as always. I agree with most of the others about the co-branding approach. Operating a plant and making/testing prototypes is a whole new universe.

    Find a receptive pen mfger small enough or flexible enough and willing to work with you on a Goulet series. Do not put all of your eggs in one design basket, though. Give customers some options, similar to what you do already with nib selections. With the interchangeability of shared parts available from a particular company, it seems you might be able to offer a pen with a large or small grip area, a choice of ink storage, nib choice and maybe a choice of caps of different color choices (I just ordered from you a Noodler’s Konrad that is transparent green with an opaque white cap). It might be a Frankenpen to some extent, but it would essentially be a custom-made pen using readily available parts, on one frame. Car mfgers do it all the time. Definitely get the Goulet personality, logo and Brian/Rachel character into it, though. Keep the equipment and machinery out of your place. Let your manufacturing partner do what they do best — in their factory, not your online facility.

  • Tinkered Art

    The one thing I long for will probably never happen but I’d like a “dial-a-grip” or the ability to select different size grips much the same way we can select nib size. I see so many pens I’d like to buy but have found I have a pretty low tolerance for too small or too large a grip – just cannot use the pen if the grip isn’t in my comfort range. Need a creative type to figure this one out.

  • Dave Busse

    Best of luck on your move. Looking forward to pix of the new place in a month or so and in a year a post that says “Boy, are we ever glad we did the move!”.
    All the best.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thanks, Dave. We’ll have to remember to do those posts πŸ˜‰

  • Tom Johnson

    Great Q&A, super questions still keep pouring in which is fantastic. Excited about your upcoming move and the growth that has made this necessary. Looking forward to seeing photos/videos of the new facility (maybe to celebrate your 200th Q&A!).

    As to a Goulet brand pen, I think the Edison Nouveau Premiere is already a great Goulet Pen. Wonderful materials and four new seasonal versions every year. Edison Pens is iconic and Brian and Andrea have been a big supporter of Goulet Pens from early on. If you want another Goulet Pen I suggest a collaboration with Brian and Andrea on one. Edison has hundreds of fantastic materials and a new pen design unique to Goulet would be my wish. As to the pen features, I think the four of you would be the best people to select one.

    Goulet Pens is still my favorite company of all time, and everyone in Team Goulet is just awesome! My latest order will be here in a couple of hours.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thanks, Tom! Hope you enjoyed getting the latest order!

  • Kathy

    I agree with Tom…I’d like to see more Edison-Goulet co-productions. I like the Nouveau Premiere overall, but don’t like that it’s not easily postable. Also would like to see more varied designs. The 2016 and 2017 spring and summer NPs are really quite similar. Brian Gray has hundreds of ideas on his website. Perhaps a few of those could be Goulet exclusives. I prefer traditional designs, and would love to see more hooded nibs.

    Great Q&A as always! Good luck with the move!!!

    • David L.

      An Edison with a hooded nib would be fantastic! Especially if it were a Goulet exclusive!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Great idea, Kathy πŸ™‚

  • Lennart

    Hi Brian,
    You often praise your Pilot Custom 74 for its smooth nib. Can I make a pen write as smoothly as e.g. your Custom 74 using micro mesh and mylar paper (given the nib would have the same size)?
    Thank you and keep up the great work!

  • _s_s_miles

    QOTW: I’d like to see a co-branding with Visconti. It’s my favorite pen company, and I think Dante is one of the more innovative makers out there. Here’s what I’m thinking – One of the “Painters” series, utilizing a work by a well know painter, but one that’s NOT a painting: Marc Chagall’s America’s Windows, currently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago (and made somewhat famous by the kissing scene in “Ferris Beullers Day Off.” The colors are overwhelmingly BLUE!! And as they are stained glass, you could do a translucent body that also shows the custom blue ink (Chagall Bleu?) that Nathan at Noodler’s would do, so it would end up TRI-BRANDING. As long as I’m dreaming it would have to be eye-dropper only, and include Visconti’s Hook Safe Lock cap. I’d pay Homo Sapiens money for that pen, hands down. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8d196ab8aa0eed3db813ba64ee2000ede5e9c1478126db7000d3f669c6146d7d.jpg

  • Zoe

    Congratulations on your move! How wonderful and exciting! It’s great to see you taking another big step! QOTW: I like that you’ve partnered with Edison pens, they’re consistently reliable quality pens that are made to last. I’d be tentative about a collab with other companies. As far as the pen its self, it would be great to have a simple converter, of course you’ll have to have a blue pen sometime, with a solid color option, postable with a clip, steel nib, smooth writer, something that will last forever, and not push $150. Hope that’s helpful in any small way. I’m sure whatever you decide to make will be a solid pen!

  • ec

    I have an ink question for Brian.

    I just got my latest Goulet order out of my mailbox. (I had to help with the move by reducing your inventory by a few items, LOL.) I’ve read the concerns about ink freezing, but what about heat damage to bottled inks? I tried to check my mail early, but by the time I got the package out of the mailbox, the ink bottles were very warm in my hand from their rest in the hot Georgia sun. I’ve not used the ink yet, but so far I’ve not noticed any ill effects (from past inks). But my question is, “How hot must inks get before the quality or performance is negatively affected by heat?”. Thanks!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      I have added it to the list of questions for the week after next (we won’t have Q&A Next week and the questions for tomorrow have already been selected). That is a great question.

      • ec

        Thanks, Lydia! Every time I get an ink order out of my mailbox, except in the winter, I always wonder if the ink has gotten “too hot,” whatever “too hot” might be!

      • ec

        Hi again Lydia. I edited my first post to make it make more sense (about the past inks seeming to have no ill effects from heat). Thanks again!

        • Lydia At Goulet Pens

          I will update the question in the sheet. Thanks for the heads up πŸ™‚

          • ec

            Thanks, Lydia. Best wishes for a smooth move to your new digs.

          • Lydia At Goulet Pens


  • Jessie Schuster

    I’m not sure about what an ultimate Goulet Pen might be like…but I do have a co-branding idea I’d love too see! I’d buy both a Goulet Blue Kaweco Al-Sport and Kaweco Liliput, I definitely would love to see that come about!!!

  • CorinneLitchfield

    See you at the DC show! I will do my best not to fangirl all over you & Rachel.

  • Pranav Shashidhar

    I think a really good goulet pen would be a starter. Sounds insane, but with fountain pen sales increasing over time more and more people are getting into the hobby and the person making THE starter pen stands the most to gain. I think the qualities of the best starter would include a price at or less than the street value of a lamy safari, great reliability, friction fit exchangable nibs (to fit goulet nibs) cartridge/cartridge converter fill, and an interesting nib design like the old reversible pens, that would be more condusive to recent peasant stick converts. What would be really cool would be a pen that fits standard international converters, but comes with one with a much larger fill capacity. Of course a sleek metal finish like apilot metropolitan or a waterman hemisphere would be great, and the pen size overall should be medium. I would be more than happy to contribute more info or sketches, because this pen would be so cool and could see many people go back to the days before peasant sticks!