In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about pens reflecting personalities, his favorite pen we’ve never sold, and what paper he’ll never use!

This week:


1) Josef B- Facebook (12:30)

Hi Brian, I love all your Goulet #6 Steel Nibs, especially the stub nibs. I am looking for something with less width than the 1.1 stub nib for my daily writing. Maybe something like 0.7. Do you have a recommendation for me? Thank You

  • yeah, there’s a real shortage of sub-1.1mm stubs out there!
  • Nemosine has .6 and .8, and they’re decent nibs, #6 even and you can swap them
  • we don’t have any Goulet ones
  • Pilot Hand Lettering sets, have sub 1.1mm Plumixes and you can swap those nibs onto other pens like the Metropolitan, Prera, Kakuno
  • I don’t have any others! And no others easily come to mind, honestly :(

2) @djpappas- Twitter (16:40)

Do you believe the material used to make a feed influences ink flow? It seems as though a more flexible material – for example, ebonite – would produce a more generous ink flow. And if it does matter, why isn’t it a characteristic you include for each model?

  • it can, yes
  • it’s not the only factor, all else equal ebonite will flow better ink than plastic, but some modern feeds are quite reliable even as plastic
  • the feed design still makes a big difference, and that can vary from pen to pen
  • Really, it’s just plastic and ebonite as your options
  • ebonite’s not necessarily more flexible, or at least that doesn’t make the difference here for flow
  • ebonite is hygroscopic, so it assists in capillary action
  • ebonite can be heat set to the individual feed easier than plastic
  • we try to advertise it when a pen has it, but we haven’t always been consistent here
  • we don’t have it as a filter on our site, but it’s something we can consider, I’d love feedback on that
  • Aurora gold nib pens have ebonite feeds
  • Noodler’s pens have ebonite feeds
  • Namiki does
  • Omas did
  • that’s it, on our site
  • if they have it these days, it’s usually pretty well advertised because it’s so rare

3) justus.castillo- Instagram (21:01)

Do you find that the tastes of pens and inks go with your team members’ personalities?

  • it’s all over the map!
  • some of us here stick to colors and styles that very much speak to other aspects of our outward reflections of ourselves (the way we dress, etc)
  • others, use their pens or ink to be more expressive or professional than they might portray otherwise
  • after having met a LOT of pen people, I’ve really never met two who are identical in their tastes, which is part of the joy of this whole endeavor!

4) cushing.ethan- Instagram (24:22)

What is your favorite pen that has never been sold on your site.

  • I have a few I’ve talked about before, and this may well change from time to time
  • right now I’m quite smitten with Conid, the design and engineering is pretty dang cool
  • I have a Conid Minimalistica that I love
  • there are other crazy LE pens and stuff that I could shout out, but I have really only seen pictures of most of them, the Conid I have and really like

5) oogleatluxury- Instagram (26:38)

I’m planning on making a custom leather sleeve with a magnetic closure for my fiance’s favorite/brand new pen – his Pilot Custom 823. Will the magnetism hurt any mechanisms in the pen?

  • short answer: don’t sweat it
  • I’ve never heard of this being an issue
  • ferromagnetic metals include: iron, nickel, cobalt, some rare earth metals
  • you might see a small bit of iron or nickel in a stainless steel or brass alloy used in a pen, but it’s not often going to be enough to be an issue
  • some pens have magnetic caps, literally magnets in the pens! No issue
  • the Custom 823 doesn’t have any magnetism to it, so you’re all good ;)

6) noctriwina- Instagram (29:37)

Looking to get into fountain pens, and I know I will “need” different nibs. Should I go for one with easily changable nibs, like a twsbi 580, which is expensive, or buy several cheaper ones with different nibs, like a twsbi eco. On one hand changable nibs sounds cheapee, but will I be bothered changing them? And maybe one pen per nib is more efficient in practice?

  • this is going to be different for everyone, of course
  • personally, I think if you’re just starting out, the interchangeable nib thing has some merit to it bc you can get more pen for your buck
  • the biggest drawback is that you can only use one nib at a time, which really kinda stinks
  • between these two specific pens, I’d personally go for more Eco’s with different nibs, and you can use multiple inked at the same time

7) @nj_ian- Twitter (33:48)

Would fountain pen enthusiasts (your typical customer) enjoy attending a Pen Show, or are these shows geared to retailers and seious collectors.

  • I’ve only been to two shows, so I’m not the expert
  • more or less, there are similar experiences at all the shows: drive somewhere, pay a small fee, in a hotel conference room with a bunch of vendors set up with tables of more pens than you can imagine, lots of pen nerds geeking out, very knowledgeable people there
  • personally, I think everyone should attend one, if at all practical, it’s just a cool experience
  • you can absolutely enjoy it if you’re at all into fountain pens
  • bigger shows like DC get very overwhelming very fast
  • smaller shows may have less selection but they will be slower pace and you can talk to vendors easier
  • pen people generally are very helpful, there are some curmudgeons but most are friendly
  • most shows have a lot of serious collectors, and there’s no better place for that, but that’s part of what trader (pre-show) days and auctions are for. Main show days are ideal for the general public


8) rhedhaering- Instagram (40:01)

Are there certain kinds of paper you definitely DON’T use with your fountain pens?

  • I probably experience a little less diversity of bad paper than most, perks of my job ;)
  • photo paper, not going very far there bc of the coating
  • newspaper, not that I ever write on it but no thanks
  • receipts, so hit or miss for me, I’d rather just not bother
  • stone paper, just not a fan but some are


9) nathan_laake- Instagram (45:01)

Many people enjoy fountain pens because of the sentiment that is attached to them (signing their mortgage or marriage licenses). Is there a particular pen that you have used for milestone moments in either your personal life or during the life of your business?

  • I’ve only hit a couple of milestones that have warranted signing actual paper (some have been digital)
  • marriage license, but that was before I discovered fountain pens so it was signed with a $0.10 stick of nonsense
  • Mortgage with Noodler’s Black in Lamy 2000
  • Will with Custom 74 in Liberty’s Elysium (get a will, people)

QOTW: Do you find that your pen/ink choices match other aspects of your personality, or does it bring out another side of you? (50:52)

Writing prompt: Write about a challenge you had to overcome and what you learned from it (51:51)

Write On,
Brian Goulet