In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about if all demonstrator pens are doomed to be stained, best ways to incorporate fountain pens into your daily life, and the best pens to come in 2020. Enjoy!

Pens/Writing

1) voltronsleftfoot- Instagram (0:50)

Is reusing pen flush ok?

  • Yes! That’s actually part of why we provide the little vial
  • If you have an ink you know shouldn’t be mixed with others (like Noodler’s Baystate) then you shouldn’t reuse
  • otherwise, reuse to your heart’s content

2) mohitdongar- Instagram (4:51)

Which pens are you expecting to be a hit in 2020?

  • This is so tough, because we only have visibility mayyyybe a few months out, with some brands
  • we don’t know at the beginning of the year what’s coming, honestly
  • Monteverde and Conklin will be coming out with a lot, they have their new JoWo nibs and they plan to make a splash with those
  • TWSBI for sure
  • I’m hoping Namiki has some releases again as they’re catching up from their 100th anniversary backlog
  • Lamy has a lot of cool stuff in the works, some of it’s leaked!
  • Montegrappa’s got some insane LE pens coming
  • For sure there are a number of really exciting things on the way, 2020 will be a fun year for pens

3) karveto- Instagram (10:25)

Hi Brian! I am wondering what happens when people “regrind” nibs? Can any nibs be reground?

  • yes, they sure can!
  • there are two reasons to do it: to revive/repair a worn nib, or to alter it to match a preference
  • it’s a craft, part art and part science, and to really do it well takes a lot of practice and ideally some special training
  • it’s essentially using a series of tools and abrasives to reshape and smooth a nib to write finer/broader/wetter/drier/etc
  • I had 3 days of training on it myself from Richard Binder and could go on and on about the details
  • basically nibs are metal, they last a long time, and they can be altered several times over their life!

4) wonderbreadmel Instagram (14:42)

How do you pronounce “Kaweco”? Is it ka-way-co, or ka-weck-co?

  • I believe the proper pronunciation is “Ka-vay-co”, since it’s German and their “w” is spoken as an English “v”…but of course I say it wrong…
  • I debate about how properly I should say it…truth be told foreign languages are an absolute struggle for me, so this is a weak area for me…

Ink

5) ciao_Ig- Instagram (16:30)

Will all clear demonstrators stain with ink – or does it depend on the specific resin & ink used?

  • no, not all will stain, it really does depend
  • sadly, I don’t have super good sense of which do and don’t, it’s just too much to keep in my brain!
  • 700+ inks we carry (and even more we don’t), many different pens, it’s thousands and thousands of combinations
  • I think generally there are some pens more prone to it, some inks more prone to it (especially some pinks, purples, and blues)
  • but it is not a given that it will stain

Business

6) chrismaklive- Instagram (20:41)

Are there any makers that have tours of their manufacturing?

  • to the public? Not many that I know…
  • Pelikan does, that I know
  • Montegrappa’s done many private tours, we’ll have a video out on that
  • Aurora has a writing museum, I don’t know how much of their factory is open to the public though
  • I have heard of people touring Visconti, but it might just be by appointment?
  • that’s all I can think of, honestly, Pelikan’s the only one that advertises it
  • it’s not super common, I think just because of safety, liability, practicality, and general disruption to their operation
  • most of these pen companies are way smaller than you’d think, and public tours are quite a logistical feat, it just isn’t something most of them are set up to do, which is why it’s good to do video tours when we can!

7) ayesha_0222- Instagram Pens/Writing (24:42)

What ways can I incorporate my fountain pen in my daily life?

  • This is a great question, great!
  • It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot more about recently, as our digital age is challenging the daily practicality of writing at all
  • I think this depends a lot on what your daily life is
  • the best way I’ve found is to just get one pen that you really like keeping with you, and carry it everywhere you go
  • ideally, keep a notebook with you too, as that’s kind of important too in writing
  • and just look for ways to write
  • there are surely a lot of good writing prompts that can help, but here are 3 to get you started:
    • write down the names of people you meet and one thing from your conversation, you can reference it later and it will wow them that you remembered
    • write down things throughout the day you’re grateful for
    • write down the 1-3 most important things you want to do that day, every day, and look at it several times throughout the day
  • This is honestly a question I’d be interested in exploring even deeper in a future video, so I’ll reflect on it more

Question of the Week: How do you incorporate fountain pens into your daily life? (38:41)

Write On,
Brian Goulet