In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about the Art of Cursive Penmanship, making inks shade, and which pen features he’d like to see on more pens!

This week:


1) Melissa H.- Facebook (12:06)

I would love a TWSBI 580 with a gold nib, but alas, they don’t exist. I looked at the Pilot Custom Heritage 92 but what everyone is saying is that it’s not as weighty feeling as the TWSBI. Any suggestions on something that would be close to a TWSBI 580 with a gold nib?

  • honestly the Pilot Custom Heritage 92 (20g) will be one of your best options
  • Pilot Custom 74 (22g) and Platinum 3776 (20g) would be up there too
  • TWSBI 580 28g
  • Custom 74 would be my vote, if you were bound and determined to get a gold nib clear demo
  • there are likely other models worth considering, I’m not sure of Sailor’s options but I feel like they’d have some
  • unfortunately I don’t know of any gold #5 size nibs you could swap onto a 580
  • the writing experience may improve with a gold nib, subtly, but it’s purely personal taste

2) stuartjackson612- Instagram (18:43)

What novel or interesting feature of a pen do you wish would catch on more?

  • Quick-release pen caps, like the Visconti hook-safe lock
  • They patented it, so technically that couldn’t expand to more brands
  • But some sort of innovative quick-releasing cap mechanism would be really cool, I appreciate that a lot
  • Hooded nibs, they’re just not all that common these days but I really like them
  • ink windows…some pens have them, and they’re harder to make, but they’re so handy

3) shiretook- YouTube (24:33)

Would you guys do a quick thumb through of the new Art of Cursive Penmanship that you have in stock now? I’d like to know how fountain pen friendly it is, how it compares to other books of its kind,… Thank you!

  • Sure!
  • paper is surprisingly FP friendly
  • 253 total pages
  • Starts with overview, writing samples, and model numbers and letters to give basic form
  • What is American Cursive?
  • Purpose of the book: Michael Sull believes “there should be a competent guide and course of study available for people, regardless of age, who want to learn the traditional skill of cursive handwriting.”
  • Heritage of American penmanship
  • How to write American Cursive, hand position, lefties, writing speed, posture, hand movement, slant, height and arrangement of letters…
  • Letters and preliminary exercises
  • Scales of writing
  • Lesson plans
  • Practice selections from quotes, literature, poetry
  • Artistic penmanship
  • I’m utterly blown away by how much is packed into this, especially for the price
  • And now it is more widely available than ever before, it’s just really exciting to see
  • Michael Sull is an absolute gem in the writing world, and he’s so incredibly humble, too
  • If you are anything from curious to serious about improving your handwriting, this book is a must


4) elmer_escoto- Instagram (36:29)

Can I make an ink shade? I have several inks that do not shade at all, I’d like to experiment trying to get them to shade. Is that even possible? Thanks

  • Absolutely! Most inks will shade if you water them down (ideally with distilled water)
  • It will affect the dye saturation and may lighten up the color, but this is something you can experiment with in a sample vial, adding a few drops of water at a time to dilute it
  • some will work better than others, but this is basically the process!


5) Trish S.- Facebook (44:17)

I see many people completely taking apart pens to clean them every time they change inks, or some just out of the box. I soak my nibs and converters between inkings, let them dry, but is that enough? Am I “taking care of” my pens? If I clean a pen and store it for 6-12 months, does it need to be disassembled and cleaned again before using it? I feel like I’m not doing fountain pens right.

  • you absolutely don’t need to take your pens apart completely when you clean them, and it’s not what manufacturers recommend
  • it’s a personal preference thing, some people just want to be really thorough but that’s most often overkill
  • you do want to clean between changing ink colors, and at least once a month or so if reinking with the same color
  • you don’t need to let them dry in between inking, I talked about that last week
  • if you store it clean, you probably don’t need to clean it again unless you have reason to believe you should (like maybe you didn’t clean it before, or you ink it up and it has flow issues)
  • It sounds like you might be too hard on yourself
  • I honestly run into people that have used fountain pens for 10 years and never knew they were supposed to clean them, so don’t judge yourself so hard
  • Do what’s practical, what makes sense to you, and just enjoy the journey!


6) Mike S.- Facebook (50:03)

Since the Nemosine Singularity was on closeout for Fountain Pen Day, is GPC going to eventually not carry this pen anymore?

  • so this has been a little confusing, I understand that
  • Nemosine has dropped their price, they’re looking to clear out their pens and they’re considering some redesigns in the future
  • I don’t know the long-term plan, they haven’t announced anything officially but we’re expecting to see shortages during the transition, that could last a while
  • the timing was such that it lined up with FPD, but it wasn’t just us trying to blow them out
  • it so happened we ended up selling our entire stock on FPD, which we didn’t expect
  • we’re looking to get restocked, of the things we can get, but it might start to get spotty
  • We like the brand and want to continue with it, but it’s going to be a little out of our hands in terms of what we will see from them in the foreseeable future, we honestly just don’t know

7) Rob B- Facebook (53:17)

Have you (or do you) considered offering engraving? Either “simple” text or more elaborate–classic scroll designs on brass Sport pens, for example?

  • we used to engrave our wooden pens back in the day
  • we haven’t done any engraving since we started selling pens in our modern form
  • we get asked about it from time-to-time, but not nearly as much as you’d probably think
  • I took this question because I want to gauge interest, so that’s going to lead me into my QOTW
  • scroll designs is a pretty elaborate thing, I can’t see us doing this in the near future as it’s really an artistic alteration, which isn’t so much what we do and would actually get us to an interesting place with the warranty of our products
  • simple text seems more scalable and possible, but it would be an investment of time and equipment for us and would have to be worth it, and it’s not clear thus far

QOTW: If we offered engraving, would you buy it? How much would you pay? What pens would you want engraved? Why? (56:54)

Writing Prompt: Write a haiku about pens. (58:11)

Write On,
Brian Goulet