In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about grail pen goals, discontinued inks in the Swab Shop, and tattooing with fountain pen ink.

This week:


1) henry.slocombe- Instagram (9:54)

Do you think investing in my grail pen (Homo Sapiens) before a mid level pen is ok?

  • that’s totally up to you, based on your funds and level of interest
  • I personally had to work my way up over years to get to grail level
  • others can dive right in, your experience and funds will dictate practicality
  • there’s something to be said to having something to look forward to
  • even when you get your grail, there’s likely a new grail that will come about!
  • appreciate the journey, set a realistic goal or timeline to get your grail, make yourself wait longer than you want, because then when you do get it, it’s that much sweeter!

2) heidisnell- Instagram (16:38)

If my pen freezes this winter will it get damaged? (bonus: what about freezing ink, kelli.marie on IG)

  • theoretically yes, though I seldom hear of that actually happening
  • use your best judgment, try to avoid freezing your pen
  • ice is STRONG, and could damage the guts of a pen
  • Noodler’s makes the best freeze-resistant ink (Polar series), that’s a safe bet
  • we had a scientist customer of ours take Polar ink to Antarctica, and it did great!

3) Elizabeth H.- Facebook (22:07)

I saw a new Goulet exclusive Edison Ascent is coming soon. Would you do a side by side comparison with the Premiere? I’m particularly curious about the grip as it doesn’t seem contoured like the Premiere. Thanks.

  • yep! We’ll have a full video on that with lots of details and close ups
  • it is sort of similar to the Premiere, but with different ends, more secure post, and a different grip and colors
  • it wasn’t meant to be a huge diversion from the Premiere (a popular model) but rather a variant of it


4) fiyrscooby- Instagram (27:00)

I feel like the best thing about fountain pens is how much you can personalize your writing through nib size and ink color. What color is really your signature ink that people know “Oh those are Brian’s notes on that page!” and what inks would Rachel, Drew and the rest of the team say are their signature colors?

  • c’mon, really? ;) Blue
  • honestly, I don’t think people would recognize my writing just from the ink color, I do use different inks regularly
  • Robert Oster Blue Water ice has been my go to for a while, Liberty’s, Kon Peki, Diamine Marine, all staples for me
  • Rachel loves her some Yama Budo!
  • Drew- Noodler’s El Lawrence
  • I didn’t ask everyone else, but I get the sense that many of them change colors on the regular (we give free samples to the whole team)

5) Elizabeth C.- Facebook (30:06)

Would it be feasible to include ink swabs of inks you no longer carry/are no longer available in the swab shop so we can find, say, the closest thing to Lamy Dark Lilac? I realize this could be a lot more complicated than it sounds!

  • We used to do that, and we debate it internally whether that would be helpful net positive
  • On one hand, yeah it’d be helpful to see, but in the past, it confused people a lot because they expected it to be available on the site and would ask us why we had it listed if we didn’t carry it anymore
  • it also opened up Pandora’s Box:
    • older inks we never carried that were discontinued, which required new work for us (and sourcing the ink, even)
    • about other brands we don’t even carry that are currently available (just not on our site)
    • batch variations, reformulations, etc that would duplicate or create multiple versions of the same name ink (very confusing)
  • How would we indicate it’s not available?
  • ideally we would mark it somehow as discontinued, but that would require either altering the image and re-uploading it or having custom code on the site to overlay something on the image
  • our Swab Shop code is old, and updating is really cumbersome, unfortunately
  • we have a project to redo it, which got kicked out to early 2020 due to time and resource constraints
  • bottom line, it’s a whole big thing, and we’d have to really have a lot of good solutions to some of these challenges to have it live in the Swab Shop tool and not confuse everyone so it’s much cleaner and easier to just not have that stuff in there
  • we have done a number of blog posts and things for older inks, that’s a potential compromise

6) gerreigka- Instagram (39:56)

I accidentally stabbed my hand with my fountain pen. Will I get a tattoo from the ink?

  • possibly! But that could really be any pen, not just a fountain pen
  • I’m not a tattoo expert, so take everything I say as conjecture and light Google research
  • apparently 20% of US adults have tattoos, women slightly more than men
  • it’s my understanding that basically any ink you put into the dermis has the potential to stay there a long time
  • I don’t know exactly what difference there is between tattoo ink and pen ink (fountain or otherwise), but I know it isn’t regulated
  • thinner ink is used for outlining, thicker for shading
  • dye-based fountain pen ink isn’t as lightfast or permanent as tattoo ink from my understanding, so I think it’d fade over time…though I wouldn’t recommend you try to find out!

QOTW: If you were to get a tattoo with any fountain pen ink, what color(s) would you choose? (47:26)

Write On,
Brian Goulet