In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about pens that impress non-pen people, stone paper, and fountain pen jokes!

This week:

1) cushing.ethan- Instagram (07:42)
Know any good fountain pen jokes?

  • What newspaper does a fountain pen read? The New York Tines
  • Two fountain pens walked into a bar, the third one ducked
  • Wanna hear a joke about paper? Nevermind, it’s tearable
  • I heard Lamy was going to develop a new Velcro pen, but they thought it might get ripped off.
  • I used to get a small shock whenever I touched my pens. Needless to say, I’m ex-static.
  • Did you hear about the new anti-gravity pen? It’s impossible to grab one!
  • Why wasn’t the fountain pen popular on Instagram? It wouldn’t post.
  • Wanna hear a joke about a broken nib? Nevermind, it’s pointless.
  • What do you call a factory that makes adequate pens? A satisfactory
  • Did you hear they’re going to have a new outdoor pen show? It’s supposed to be in tents!
  • What are the worst fountain pens made? Vacuum fillers, because they suck.
  • A duck walks into a pen store to get a new pen and says “just put it on my bill”.
  • I have an entire drawer filled with pen caps. They look so lonely there, because they have no body.
  • I keep looking for camouflage pens, but I can’t seem to find any.
  • What’s blue and smells like red ink? Blue ink.
  • I was considering becoming a nibmeister, but I heard it’s a grind.
  • Did you hear about the man who stole a planner? He got 12 months.
  • I might discontinue selling planners…because their days are numbered.
  • Did you hear about the new apocalypse pen? They’re selling like there’s no tomorrow!


2) westkastle- Instagram (10:55)
I saw your video about cleaning new Lamy pens because they were inked for testing, but is that true for all manufacturers? Should you always clean new pens before first use?

  • Not all pen manufacturers do as thorough a testing as Lamy does, for sure
  • Lamy does leave the ink in the pen, that’s why it’s blue
  • it doesn’t hurt the pen or anything, but I do recommend cleaning it before using it
  • I don’t know of many other manufacturers that leave ink in the pen after testing it
  • TWSBI tests all their pens, for example, but they clean them
  • It’s still recommended by most manufacturers to clean any new pen before using it
  • Do most people? no, but it definitely doesn’t hurt

3) romeorv1- Instagram (15:49)
Which of your fountain pens gets the most attention from non fountain pen people?

  • anything with interesting colors/materials
  • demonstrators for sure, people can see what makes a fountain pen different, ink sloshing around
  • anything particularly large, ornate
  • big nibs get attention
  • if it’s too nice/expensive, it can actually put up a wall
  • TWSBI’s get attention
  • Visconti Homo Sapiens, that lava
  • Pilot Vanishing Point, especially Twilight
  • anything Maki-e
  • truthfully any fountain pen wows non-fountain pen people


4) Melissa H.- Facebook (24:37)
I see people so disappointed in missing special edition inks (hint hint – Lamy Dark Lilac). With all the inks currently on the market, it seems colors aren’t all that unique anymore. I’ve found many colors that I currently own being replicated by other companies. Perhaps the individual properties of said inks aren’t identical, but the colors are so much that I have trouble telling the difference and will turn down a new color that I gravitate towards b/c I already have that color in a different brand. Do you think this will be a problem for ink companies moving forward? Is there anything in terms of something like copywrite/trademark violations when it comes to ink colors?

  • I totally get it, there are so many options, there are certainly “close enough” colors for just about any LE
  • there are sometimes more factors than just the raw color
  • our eyes can see millions of different colors, and while some are indistinguishable, others look a certain way in a certain nib/paper/light
  • flow, bottle, brand, price, packaging, LE nature, name, shading, dry time, permanence, sheen, all these things can be a factor aside from just color
  • I’m no trademark/copyright lawyer, but colors themselves are difficult to trademark, but the naming/branding around them can be
  • If a company has an ink with the same color, similar properties, but different name, branding, packaging, that’d be really, really difficult to pursue in court
  • As far as I know it’s never been an issue, partly because it’s probably just not lucrative enough to attract legal action one way or another!
  • I don’t anticipate it really being much of a problem, unless there’s a really blatant ripoff, which I haven’t really seen before


5) ltskeehan- Instagram (30:53)
What is your take on stone paper notebooks? Are they fountain pen friendly? Could they damage pens? Sorry if you’ve answered this before, I watch every week and haven’t seen it answered as of yet.

  • they’re not super popular, partly because not super accessible
  • a few people use and love them
  • I’ve really only tested 1 or 2 that people have sent me
  • they feel smooth to the touch, pretty smooth on the nib, about like micromesh/mylar
  • I’m hesitant because it’s basically plastic paper with stone powder on it
  • it’s essentially a polishing medium, so it will almost certainly speed up the wear and tear on your nib tipping
  • I haven’t been a huge fan for this reason, but it’s neat to try with a cheap nib!


6) @Lott_o_Colton- Twitter (36:33)
I have a Goulet/Jowo EF Steel nib on a Jinhao x450. I’ve had it several years and recently it has taken to ripping paper when I pull from left to right (I am right handed). Right to left is still smooth. Talk about “toothy!” How do/can I fix? Micromesh? Thanks for all y’all do!

  • ripping paper is beyond “toothy”, that’s scratchy my friend!
  • something ain’t right here and needs to be fixed
  • Could be a misalignment of your tines (left one lower than the right, if you’re looking down at the face of the nib)
  • Could be a flat spot after years of repeated use, though this would usually feel scratchy in more than one direction
  • check it with a loupe first, adjust the left tine up a bit and see if that helps
  • if it’s aligned but still not great, then micro mesh will help


7) spider7006- Instagram (45:55)
What book will you make your children read before they graduate high school?

QOTW: What pen do you have that tends to attract the most attention from your non-fountain pen colleagues? (54:02)

Write On,
Brian Goulet