In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about 3D printed pens, boutique inks, and diluting inks.

This week:


1) Manav A.- Facebook (10:12)

Did you know Jim Rouse? I understand he just passed away 😔 His SIG nibs are truly incredible

  • I knew of him, saw him at pen shows but didn’t know him personally
  • I heard wonderful things from everyone I know that interacted with him
  • His passing was a big shock, and has hit me hard despite my not knowing him personally
  • He devoted decades of his life to the pen world, as I am doing and plan to do
  • He undoubtedly had a lot of pen knowledge and craftsmanship in him that is now just gone
  • I think about this for myself, too, even though I’m relatively young and it motivates me to want to pass on the skills and knowledge I acquire
  • My prayers go to him and his family, to the folks at Franklin-Christoph, and to everyone who will miss him and the value he brought to the pen community


2) gadgetstop321- Instagram (14:43)

I know many pens are turned on a lathe or made from injection molded plastic. Have you heard of any pens being made with a 3D printer?

  • so far, I have only seen experimental ones, small scale stuff
  • I’d love to hear of any you know of in the comments
  • it’s still relatively new technology and I wouldn’t be surprised if we started to see some new stuff come out with this
  • I’m eager to see where it could go, especially as the technology improves


3) Alejandra B.-Facebook (17:25)

Why do people dilute inks with water? Is it to make them less dry? Maybe to make them shade better? Can you alter the wetness/dryness of an ink? (Lots of love from Spain!)

  • The main reason I know people do it is to make the color less saturated
  • the water itself can affect the flow, but not always in the same way depending on the ink
  • adding water can make it drier, because you’re diluting the lubricants that are in the ink (to counter the dry-writing dye components), but that’s not always the case
  • shading will often improve because the dye is less saturated, yes
  • it’s especially popular with Noodler’s inks (even encouraged by Nathan), but can be done with really any ink
  • if you want to experiment with this, do it in small amounts, a few ml at a time

4) Carole V.- Facebook (23:20)

What are considered ’boutique inks’? I’ve inherited a couple of vintage pens, and there is some common advice to avoid these and to use ‘standard inks’. On FPN, one reader stated it was inks from smaller companies, but I’m guessing there’s more to it. Could this be a Q&A question?

  • “boutique” is kind of a generic term
  • it could mean smaller companies, sure, like Noodler’s, De Atramentis, Robert Oster, Organics Studio
  • in my mind, it tends to mean companies that are focused solely on ink, as opposed to a pen manufacturer that also carries ink
  • Diamine, J. Herbin, Robert Oster, Noodler’s, Organics Studio, Colorverse, 3 Oysters, Kyoto, Rohrer & Klingner
  • the truth is, we don’t know what the exact chemical makeup of any fountain pen ink is, because it’s proprietary
  • the logic is that pen companies warranty their pens with the ink they sell, so it’s deemed “safer” by some people in the pen community
  • others completely disagree, so go figure
  • in my experience, there are few inks that truly cause harm to pens, and if so it’s usually super rare and only in specific circumstances or else you’d see terrible reviews of these inks on every retail site


5) kolecoomer- Instagram (31:10)

Can you talk about some of your personal favorite brands that Goulet doesn’t carry? I.e. Conid, Bexley, Franklin Christoph, etc. And now that opus 88 has been such a hit. Can we expect some fresh new brands from Goulet? Thanks for keeping the pen dream alive!

  • I’ve mentioned this before, there are a number of reasons why we might not be carrying something
  • it’s not as simple as “it exists, therefore we can carry it”
  • Conid has been selling direct and isn’t large enough, though I keep asking ;)
  • Bexley we haven’t had a lot of people ask about, but there could be potential there
  • Franklin-Christoph we’ve talked a bit here and there, I think they do retailer exclusives in a limited capacity but they really just sell direct
  • Opus 88 is new and growing, we’re learning right along with them
  • Colorverse is newer to the scene
  • Other brands like PenBBS, Moonman, and any number of Kickstarter-like brands are quite honestly just not large enough to handle wholesaling or global distribution
  • The one thing we can say is we love hearing what you’re interested in, we will always pursue brands that you want that seem like they could retail reliably enough to fit within our mission statement (comprehensive education, exemplary service, products we believe in)
  • We love hearing what you want!

QOTW: What are your favorite summer (travel) pens, inks, paper? (42:57)

Writing Prompt: Write about the most memorable trip you ever went on. (43:29)

Write On,
Brian Goulet