Goulet Q&A Episode 258, Nib Tipping Alloys, Noodler’s Charlie Pens, and Goulet Bottom Shelf Pens

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about nib tipping alloys, Noodler’s Charlie Pens, and Goulet Bottom Shelf. Enjoy!

This week:


1) @ashutoshthakurr- Twitter (12:08)

Why is there a price difference between Music Nib and other nibs of Platinum 3776 century? You have been to Platinum factory while touring in Japan, you can definitely shed some light on it.

  • unfortunately the pricing of the nibs wasn’t something we specifically went over at the Platinum factory
  • I did get to see just how many steps it takes and how much handwork it is
  • largely, it’s labor, the music nibs are harder to make and require more specialized skill
  • more skill and time, higher price, it’s supply and demand. it’s pretty much that simple

2) @JeanMassumiHara- Twitter (15:47)

What is the REAL function of the iridium? I have pens here(that I regrinded by myself)writing perfectly smooth, juicy and uniform without any reamining iridium tip..

  • yeah, you can grind and polish untipped nibs to be just as smooth and uniform as a tipped nib, it’s a matter of longevity
  • Iridium is an interesting metal, and needs some explaining
  • first discovered in 1803, very dense
  • second densest metal on earth next to osmium
  • 9th rarest stable element in earth’s crust, platinum is 10 times more abundant
  • only 3 tons are mined and used a year, globally
  • present much higher in meteorites, so it’s likely not native to earth but came here from space
  • it’s incredibly durable (6.5 on Moh’s hardness scale), harder than titanium
  • stainless steel is around 5.5, depending on the components
  • iridium is used mostly for smelting crucibles because of its high heat resistance, spark plug contacts, and in electronics
  • these days, because of the rarity and difficulty working iridium, it’s not used much if at all in tipping
  • you may see an alloy of iridium, osmium, rhodium, chromium, or other hard metals
  • the basic idea is that you’re using metals that are harder wearing than stainless steel, so it’ll last longer
  • you can still use and enjoy stainless steel nibs with no tipping, they just won’t last quite as long
  • heck, most stainless steel stubs have no tipping! But they have a greater surface area and aren’t going to wear but so quickly
  • modern stainless steel is much better than vintage, which is part of why gold nibs were always so revered
  • with an EF or F nib, you might see signs of wear on an untipped nib in a couple of years with regular use as opposed to a decade or more with a tipped nib
  • whenever you’re grinding, you want to keep that tipping on there, no question

3) goldman._- Instagram (26:01)

Is the pilot 74 durable? It seems like it is plastic so I’m hesitant to drop $150 on it. Brian seems to swear by it, but can I drop it?

  • it is plastic! but most pens are, and it’s going to be a nicer grade of plastic than what you see on less expensive pens, though it’s arguably still plastic!
  • I love it for the way it writes, and that’s a lot of what you’re paying for (the nib)
  • it’s not the most durable pen, and dollar for dollar, you could go with a polycarbonate like the Lamy 2000 and have more durability
  • it’s completely up to you…the Japanese tend to prefer lighter pens, so lighter resins like these are really appealing to them
  • in the US, we tend to like things bigger and heavier, especially when we’re associating quality and cost
  • I won’t try to hard convince you one way or another, but I’ll just say I was and a still surprised at how much I like writing with the Custom 74

4) @askforCharon- Twitter (30:12)

I have Noodler’s Charlie that I got as the free pen with a bottle of ink…but I can’t find any information about it anywhere. It looks similar to a Nib Creaper, but it’s eyedropper-only with a non-flex nib. Any idea where I can go for info about it?

  • it’s not a widely available pen so you’re not going to find a ton out there about it
  • It’s an incredibly simple pen
  • eyedropper fill only, clear body and black/rainbow cap
  • about the size of a Noodler’s Nib Creaper
  • ebonite feed and stainless steel nib
  • it comes free with Noodler’s 4.5 ounce inks
  • will it write perfectly? Maybe, it’s still a really, really inexpensively made pen, but for what it is, it’s not bad
  • some people hate them and throw them out immediately
  • others have told me it’s their favorite pen! Go figure
  • it’s worth at least trying if you already wanted one of the 4.5 ounce inks, but not worth buying it just to get the pen

5) thegreenteacat- Instagram (35:24)

Hi Brian! I have several nice fountain pens, and I absolutely love them, but I’ve been having a hard time using them because I’m afraid I’m going to break them! I feel like there’s so much to look out for when using fountain pens to make sure they last a long time, and so I’m constantly worried about making a serious mistake. Do you have any suggestions for getting over this fear? I really want to not be afraid of using my pens. Thanks for all you do for the fountain pen community!

  • this is going to be a personal comfort thing, and everyone has a different threshold
  • I know pen people that will buy and daily carry a Namiki Emperor in their shirt pocket without thinking twice about it
  • others are hesitant to even buy a pen over a couple dozen dollars because they swear they’ll lose or break them!
  • the comfort level will differ for everyone
  • some pens are slightly more delicate and should be handled with special consideration, but most pens are made to be written with
  • I wouldn’t carry them with no case in your jeans pocket with your keys, or maybe don’t mow the lawn or go cliff diving with them
  • but if you’re just doing normal office things and running errands, your pens will be okay with normal use
  • PLEASE use your pens, start with the more durable, more replaceable ones and just try them
  • they’re made to be written with! please enjoy them.


6) Sarah M- Facebook (42:16)

How do pens end up on your Bottom Shelf? Are they pens that you guys tested, or returns, or something else?

  • this is good timing, because just in the last two weeks we’ve been having meetings about our bottom shelf
  • originally, the bottom shelf was created before we even sold pens! It was a place for us to sell cosmetically flawed but still functional products like notebooks with dented corners or bent spines, usually happening in transit to us
  • once we started to get into pens, we already had the bottom shelf as a place for “non-new” items, so we put them in there
  • it’s not all that often we’re receiving cosmetically flawed pens because they’re in boxes and protected
  • so most of the pens in there usually end up being ones we’ve used ourselves for videos, photos, etc, or fully inspected returns from a customer
  • oftentimes, the pens you see on there that we have listed as gently used are truly not even noticeably used, and we’ve inspected and tested them so we feel pretty confident about them
  • the term “bottom shelf” is probably not a fair term for these pens, as they often don’t have a single thing “wrong” with them, it’s just that we don’t want to sell anything as new that’s been sold before
  • we always try to describe exactly what shape they’re in, and if there is any specific flaw, we’ll describe it and discount accordingly
  • we’re actively debating about if we should split them out
  • we could call them “open box”, “pre-owned”, or something of that nature, but then it’s two places to go to check these non-new items, instead of just bottom shelf
  • or we could keep as one place, and just rename the bottom shelf altogether to something else!
  • this is where I’d really love your feedback, both in terms of the name “bottom shelf” and what it means to you, and if you’d rather see these gently used pens separated out from the cosmetically flawed items

QOTW: If you were offered a pen that allowed you to write out premonitions of the future, but you couldn’t control what it wrote, would you want it? (53:31)

Writing Prompt: Write about the best accomplishment you’ve had so far in 2019. (54:44)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

June 28th, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Introducing the Jacques Herbin Premium Line!

Exciting things are happening at Goulet Pens!

For years, inks like Jacques Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor and Herbin Eclat de Saphir have been incredibly popular in both bottle and ink sample sizes due to their amazing colors and great writing properties. The new release of Jacques Herbin 1798 Kyanite du Népal has only continued that trend.

We are thrilled to officially announce that we will now be the exclusive US retailer for the Jacques Herbin’s greatest inks, stationery, and glass pens in the United States. These products, which have not been available in the US market until now, include stationery sets, 14 new ink colors (including 4 delightfully scented offerings) in bottles, cartridges, and samples, as well as glass dip pen sets, which include a 15ml bottle of one of these gorgeous inks. These products are absolutely stunning and we hope you will think so as well!

A Brief Background of Jacques Herbin

Many companies in the fountain pen community have a storied history. Few, however, have as storied a history as Jacques Herbin. Founded in Paris, during the reign of King Louis XIV, the company originally focused on selling important writing products of the time. They initially specialized in the sealing wax, fine stationery and ink trade, and imported shellac from India. In the 300+ years since the company’s creation, they have expanded their scope to include some of the world’s finest inks, writing instrument, stationery, and writing accessories. Their guiding principle has always remained true, to “give body and color to our thoughts.” We are proud to be a part of their new chapter.

To begin our new relationship Goulet Pens is launching four new product lines:

Jacques Herbin Stationery Sets

Stationery says a lot about the writer, so be sure to choose one that represents the importance your correspondences have to you. The Jacques Herbin Stationery Sets are meticulously crafted to provide a luxurious writing experience. Each envelope is lined with colored print tissue. There are also fifteen thick fountain pen-friendly cards with matching colored edges and beveled corners. These sets are available in two sizes and three color options to add a touch of luxury to your mail.

  • Available in two sizes: C6 (106.7mm x 151.0mm or approximately 4.20in x 5.94in) and Visit (84.5mm x 134.0mm or approximately 3.33in x 5.28in)
  • Each set included 15 cream colored, 350g fountain pen-friendly cards and 15 envelopes of 125g weight and made from 50% cotton
  • Available in Red, Amber, or Blue color options
  • Price: $26 for the Visit size set or $30 for the C6 size


Jacques Herbin Essentielles Premium Fountain Pen Ink Collection

The new line of Jacques Herbin Essentielles Inks includes stunning shades that were designed to give color to your thoughts. Whether you prefer a demure grey like Gris de Houle, or a bright red like Rouge d’Orient, one of these are bound to add a touch of elegance to your writing. Choose from 50ml bottles, cartridges, samples, or sets of adorable miniature ink vials.


Jacques Herbin Scented Premium Fountain Pen Ink Collection

You’ve never smelled an ink quite like these. The new Jacques Herbin Scented Inks feature deluxe fragrances, like Noir Inspiration.  Imagine an ink that places you right in the midst of an evening stroll in the forest with woodsy scents like moss and vetiver wafting up. Each ink in this collection features a lightly scented creative escape to carry you away as you get lost in the pleasure of writing. This collection of inks is one that you need to experience. Available in 50ml bottle and sample sizes.

  • 4 delightfully scented inks
  • Bottles available for $38
  • Samples can be purchased for $2.75 each


Jacques Herbin Glass Dip Pen Sets

Add another level of elegance to your writing with a one of a kind glass dip pen. The elegant Jacques Herbin Glass Dip Pen are handmade on the Italian island of Murano, known for its high-quality glass manufacturing and coloring. They are available in Blue, Red, and Black. Each set comes with a corresponding 15ml vial of Jacques Herbin ink.

  • Set includes a glass dip pen and 15ml glass vial of ink
  • Available for $104
  • color options: Blue, Red, and Black

You can shop the full Jacques Herbin product line at GouletPens.com. Which of these products are you most excited about?

Write on,

The Goulet Pen Company Team

June 27th, 2019|Pen News|1 Comment

Goulet Q&A Episode 257: Lots of Ink Questions!

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks a lot about ink! Enjoy 😉

This week:


1) pravek.sinha- Instagram (06:17)

I am thinking of upgrading from my lamy 2000, what are my options?


2) Sarah S.- YouTube (14:33)

With the rise of pastel color pens, do you think more pastel (but readable) inks will be the new thing? Thinking of blue myotis, rose gilt, barossa gilt

  • to a degree, yes, especially as people are matching their pens
  • is there a huge shift to pastel-like inks? Not from what I can tell
  • in the US at least, people are still loving deep, saturated, sheening, shimmering, permanent inks
  • tastes can always change, especially with colors, but I don’t see a tipping point happening yet, with ink at least

3) clbdroid- Instagram (17:27)

You’ve mentioned before that inks have a pretty long shelf life…is that also true for inks with scents, shimmer or sheening effects added? Do they require any different storage or maintenance? Thanks to you and your team for all you do for we fountain pen nerds!🤓🌻

  • great question! Hard to say for sure, because they haven’t been around for decades
  • in general, I think you’re okay to do the same storage methods, nothing special is needed
  • sheening inks I’m a little more confident since they’ve been around a little longer
  • if there are storage issues, they should show up relatively soon, once they last 6-12 months they should last as long as other inks
  • shimmer I think is okay, it’ll just settle in the bottle, I could see it being an issue if there’s evaporation
  • scents…I feel less confident it’d last as long maintaining the strength of the scent, but I don’t know how long it’ll last
  • bottom line, store in a cool, dark place outside of sunlight with the cap tightly sealed for best results of any ink

4) hectorisegura818- Instagram (20:29)

X-Feather blue rumor! Is there any weight to it? At least put on your tinfoil hat and talk a little about what that would mean

  • I hear about this rumor pretty regularly, I have no evidence to legitimize it
  • from what I’ve understood talking to Nathan in the past, there were no dyes with the right components to make anything other than black X-feather
  • unless he discovers something new, which is possible, I don’t expect to see it. Sorry!

5) @MobyProf- Twitter (23:09)

what are some of the shading-est blue inks out there? Love Noodler’s Blue & Iroshizuku Asa-Gao, but would like to try something w/ more variation while I write.


6) thevelveteenvixen- Instagram (27:09)

I’ve been having problems with traces of ink remaining in my (cartridge) pen after thorough flushing (several ear bulbs’ worth of water, flushing another ~10 ml or so after it seems clean) – wiping the nib on kitchen tissue and letting the tissue wick the water out comes out clean, but the moment I re-ink the pen it writes with the old ink for maybe a quarter of an inch or less before starting on the new ink. I know different inks can react with each other, so obviously I don’t want to risk the health of my pen to this issue if I can help it. Is there some way of ensuring this doesn’t happen short of refilling an empty cartridge with distilled water and “writing” with that, which is basically the only solution I can think of that I haven’t tried?

  • it’s rare that inks react, but it’s a slight concern if you’re using ones with extreme properties (Noodler’s Baystates)
  • you’re flushing it out quite a lot already
  • depending on the pen, ink can wrap up around the nib and not get cleaned out all the way with a bulb syringe, if the syringe is flushing through the filler hole too quickly (this is the same with flushing with a converter)
  • disassembly is an option, at least pulling the nib
  • soaking the grip section is an option
  • try going a little slower with the bulb syringe or providing it some resistance (like Preppy)
  • pen flush maybe, if there’s dried ink up in there
  • in general though, I’ve never heard of an issue with ink missing with the level of cleaning you’re doing now so I think in general you’re okay,

7) sugarandsarcasm- Instagram (34:26)

Recently, you talked about TWSBI saying that the white grease on the piston of AL models should not be removed or mixed with the included silicone grease. I bought my first TWSBI 580AL two years ago, before this was public knowledge. Over the course of a few months, the piston became stiff, and I added some of the included silicone grease to help smooth it out. It helped a little, but the piston remained a little stiff. Of course, now I know why. What should I do?

  • I wanted to answer this because I got and answer right after the last Q&A!
  • it’s wheel bearing grease, that’s what you want to use
  • you can find it at any auto parts store, it’s going to be WAY more than you need but that’s what the grease is
  • it’s something we could buy ourselves, divvy up like the silicone grease…gimmie feedback on that

QOTW: What inks do you use that are easiest to clean out of your pen? (37:53)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

June 21st, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Introducing Limelight, the Summer 2019 Edison Nouveau Premiere Seasonal Edition

Edison Nouveau Premiere Limelight - Green and Yellow Resin Fountain Pen

Have you ever owned a pen so beautiful or unique that you couldn’t help but use it all the time? The latest collaboration between the Edison Pen Company and the Goulet Pen Company will be one of those pens, for sure.

Introducing the Limelight, the Goulet-exclusive Summer 2019 Edison Nouveau Premiere. A bright yellow-green body is accented by glimmering green streams of chatoyance shining through like the spotlight’s glow.

Edison Nouveau Premiere Limelight - Green and Yellow Resin Fountain Pen

The Limelight is the 25th release in the line of gorgeous limited seasonal editions we’ve created with The Edison Pen Company. Hand-turned in their Milan, Ohio shop, the resin for these pens features such a stunning variety that no two pens are exactly the same. When you purchase a Nouveau Premiere Limelight, you will receive a one of a kind addition to your pen collection. Features include:

  • Resin body and cap with silver furnishings
  • #6 steel nib, available in Extra-Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad, and 1.1mm Stub
  • Replacement nibs available for separate purchase as well
  • Converter included and accepts Standard International cartridges
  • Also eyedropper convertible – check out this Quick Tip video to learn how!
  • Postable and comfortable for writing unposted or posted
  • Unposted body length- 128mm (5in), posted- 172.3mm (6.8in)
  • Grip Diameter- 9.2mm (0.4in)
  • Total Weight-17g (0.6oz)

Edison Nouveau Premiere Limelight - Green and Yellow Resin Fountain PenEdison Nouveau Premiere Limelight - Green and Yellow Resin Fountain Pen

The Edison Nouveau Premiere Limelight is only as good as the great ink you choose to accompany it. Our top ink picks for this colorful pen include:

The Edison Nouveau Premiere Limelight is available in very limited quantities, exclusively at GouletPens.com and is priced at $169.

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

June 18th, 2019|Pen News|0 Comments

Goulet Q&A Episode 256: Pilot Nibs, Women Pen Makers, and If Goulet Kids Will Take Over The Business

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about differences in Pilot nibs, women pen makers, and if his kids will takeover Goulet Pens. Enjoy!

This week:


1) esbe5687- Instagram (5:57)

Besides cosmetic, is there any difference between the nibs on the Pilot 74, 92, and 823 or is the difference in the pens just the filling mechanism?

  • the Custom 74 and Custom 92 are the exact same nib, from what I can tell
  • Custom 823 is slightly larger, but performance is very similar, so largely it’s aesthetic

2) forgetmenotstl- Instagram (11:35)

When do I do maintenance on my TWSBI 580s and how do I know when it needs it. (Referring to the tools that come with it)

  • when the piston doesn’t move very easily anymore, then it’s time to regrease it
  • this time might vary quite a bit depending on usage, but you really shouldn’t need to do it for at least 6 months to a year, maybe longer
  • exception would be if you disassemble the pen and clean it, then you should regrease

3) gnomes_journal- Instagram (14:01)

What is the minimal required nib size for an alteration such as a stub or architect grind?

  • that depends on who’s doing the work, what they feel comfortable with
  • the finer you go, the less you’ll be able to really see a difference in line variation, so you generally want to go broad
  • architect especially, fine is about as fine as you wanna go, but broad is the sweet spot
  • stub, broad or medium is good, but you can go F or EF if you have really small handwriting
  • talk to your nibmeister/see what they recommend, assess your own writing size/style

4) jaydddeee- Instagram (17:06)

Recommendations for pens for FP’s for doctors / med students / people who need a solid everyday pen to slip into a pocket / clip to a lanyard which is easy whip out and write with on the go, is reasonably durable but not too expensive in case someone nicks it!

  • Criteria, greatly usable clip, nice colors  (these all meet):
  • Lamy Safari is good, easy to clip, workhorse pen, not too expensive, snap cap, $30ish
  • Jinhao 51A, SUPER cheap, EF nib, C/C or eyedropper, snap cap, $8
  • Pilot Metropolitan, F nib is great, durable, snap cap, $23ish
  • Pilot Varsity, VERY cheap, disposable (but refillable with a hack), decent writer, $3ish
  • Platinum Preppy, eyedropperable, EF/F are very fine, clip is not the best, $4ish
  • Diplomat Magnum, nice nib options, fun colors

5) m_mca_3- Instagram (22:47)

My pen dried out is it OK to suck some ink from the bottle into the converter or am I damaging my pen.

  • eh….I don’t really recommend this, but you can do it in a bind, if it’s not TOO dried out
  • the problem is that dried ink can cause a blockage in your feed, that may or may not resaturate in a refilling
  • it’s best to clean it out if it’s dried up, then ink again
  • If you have no choice, then give it a shot


6) jennybyhand- Instagram (26:17)

What was the very first fountain pen you ever owned? Which pen was your wife’s first? And did you both love pens the same or did one of you “penable” the other 🙂

  • the VERY first one I ever owned was my own, in a kit conversion from my own handmade pens (cool, right?)
  • the first “commercially made” fountain pen I ever owned was actually six of them
  • Lamy Joy, Kaweco Classic Sport, Pilot Petit1, Pelikan Script, Pelikano, and another I can’t remember
  • Rachel’s first was…
  • I definitely loved them first and penabled her, no question
  • She’s always loved the business, loved me, and loved using pens, but I’m probably more into the actual writing and using of pens than she is (though she’s still pretty into it)


7) GLenn M- Facebook (32:44)

It seems like all hobbies have ebbs and flows. For instance, vinyl records are really having a resurgence right now. Where do you think fountain pen, ink and paper are at these days? Is this a high tide moment or are we in an upswing or downturn?

  • I don’t know that there’s one definitive answer for this, it’s kind of yes and no
  • online pen retail is definitely on the upswing, B&M, across the board, not on the upswing most likely (no hard data here)
  • in some countries it’s booming, others it’s retracting
  • Established brands are having a tougher time in the US, like Cross, Sheaffer, Waterman, Parker, because there just isn’t the innovation there anymore, and gifting is changing
  • newer brands like Noodler’s, TWSBI, lots of independent pen makers are cropping up
  • I think all in all, the rise of communication and education has helped grow the fountain pen industry, though it’s still a very mature market with uncertainty in its future….this is what motivates me!!!

8) Lindsey C- Facebook (39:12)

I’ve noticed most pen designers and makers seem to be men. Do you carry any pens designed by women? Would love to support them!

  • Great question! I’m pumped to see so many women into pens, using them regularly, sharing them on social media, for sure
  • 10 years ago fountain pens definitely had much more of a ‘boys club’ feel, less so today
  • on the manufacturing side, some of it I honestly just don’t know because I don’t really know who specifically is designing pens at the larger companies (Pilot, LAMY, Pelikan, etc), they tend to keep most of their designers pretty behind the scenes
  • There are a lot of women involved in many of the pen companies we retail, though I’m not sure how deeply they’re involved in the design aspect, as I’m not always privy to that
  • I would love to see more women designing and making pens, I think that’d be amazing, so I’ll at least participate in the conversation here
  • We do see a lot of women involved with our smaller pen makers
  • Andrea Gray from Edison Pens for sure, she’s designing and manufacturing pens full time right along side Brian Gray, but she doesn’t want the lime light so you see her less
  • BENU– we’re not 100% clear on exactly what their design process is there, but our contact there in Russia is through a very helpful lady who I’ll keep anonymous, but we worked directly with her when collaborating with our Titan
  • Karol Scher from Kanilea Pens, collaborates with Hugh (no affiliation)
  • Renée Meeks with Scriptorium, sells direct (no affiliation), makes great pens and is worth supporting
  • Gotta recognize Rachel! She has a fair amount of influence in pen design with our various manufacturers, she’s known around here as the one who knows color!

9) emiliovillegas24- Instagram (49:38)

Would you pass your business operations down to your kids (assuming they would like to) or hire a new manager when it’s time?

  • I’d love to pass it on to my kids, if that was what ended up being best for them and our team
  • I have basically no ego tied up in whether or not my kids join the business, honestly, I want what’s best for them
  • My goal was to start this business so my kids had the opportunity to learn work ethic and see passion and entrepreneurialism exemplified at home, not so they would have their future decided for them
  • Sure, it’d be cool to work together, but they’re going to have to earn it, and it’s too early to tell how that’ll play out
  • I’d be perfectly okay hiring a more qualified manager to run things and have them be less involved or not at all, I really want them to find their own path and this is just one option
  • though they are certainly being raised knowing where their food comes from, that pens and writing and this community puts bread on our table! So they will respect that, at a minimum

QOTW: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? (57:20)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

June 7th, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

De Atramentis Elderberry: A Goulet Inksploration

Happy June, fountain pen friends! Sarah here, bringing you this month’s Inksploration feature, De Atramentis Elderberry (also known as Elderberries). It is a delightful berry colored ink with a refreshing fragrance. This is definitely a great ink for quick note taking, journaling, or creating artwork. Want to learn more? Read on!

Drawing Inspiration and Technique

My inspiration came from Micah, one of my fellow Goulet Pens team members. He always has random fun facts for each day, and recently he was enlightening me on the difference between manta rays and stingrays. I liked the visual of the manta rays and stingrays swimming through water because of the smooth movements that they make. These manta rays and stingrays were a lot of fun to draw because of the different textures and reflections on their skin. Playing with the different textures gave me a lot of opportunities to see what this ink was capable of.

I began my drawing with a pencil sketch. I like to sketch out all of my drawings in pencil first because it gives me flexibility to make changes before I put anything down in ink. Once I have my pencil sketch, I dip my water brush pen in a little bit of ink and start blocking in all of my shading. I prefer to start with the shadows first and then work my way to the highlights as the ink runs out of the brush tip. Usually, I like to do the first run through of the shading and then go back once more for the finer details, like the spots on the wings of the stingrays. After I was happy with the shading, I used the TWSBI ECO 1.1mm Stub to draw in the outlines of the rays. Then, with the TWSBI ECO Extra-Fine, I added the smaller, finer details, like the creases and lines. The bubbles were a fun, last-minute addition to add some visual interest to the background.

This ink really surprised me! It flows out of a pen as a deep purple and doesn’t have much shading when used in regular writing. But once water is added, the tones open up to a range of shades from light pink to magenta and purple.

Ink Review


  • Flow- Dry
    • This ink is smooth and steady!
    • Flowed well while I wrote, but I found it to be slightly on the dry side.
    • The dry time is surprisingly fast!
  • Dry Time- 10-15 Seconds
    • It took about 12 seconds to dry without smearing.
    • By the time I was done writing a sentence, most of it was already dry!
  • Water Resistance- Medium
    • Putting water over it makes the color pigments wash away to a pink hue, but it does leave behind a dark line so the writing doesn’t wash away completely.
  • Shading- Low
    • This is a low shading, highly saturated ink.
    • Beautiful, deep, berry purple color with slight pink tones.
  • How did the ink behave on other papers?
    • The ink behaves beautifully on both Tomoe and Leuchtturm paper. During normal notetaking, there’s no feathering or ghosting.
  • Special Features Worth Noting?
    • This is a scented ink and it’s very nice!
    • Subtle and lightly floral
    • The scent wafts up very faintly occasionally while writing
    • mostly noticeable when opening the bottle
    • not noticeable on the page after the ink dries

Overall, I think this ink stood out to me the most for its scented properties, fast dry time, and color richness.

Comparable Inks

If you love the color of De Atramentis Elderberry but would like to try some inks with different properties, Check out:

Thanks for joining me for another round of Inksploration. Don’t miss your chance to win a bottle of this delightful and a pen! Check back at the end of the month.

Giveaway (Wednesday, June 26- Wednesday, July 3, 2019)

Would you like to win your own bottle of De Atramentis Elderberry and a TWSBI Eco in your choice of nib size? We will be giving this prize away one each of the four platforms mentioned below (There will be four winners total, one each on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and here on the blog). Winners will be randomly selected after the contest closes.

How to enter the Inksploration Giveaway:

  • Match a pen and ink together. They don’t have to match in color, any fountain pen, and ink works.
  • You can choose to enter only one way or submit up to 4 different entries if you’d like. Feel free to use the same picture for all 4 entries.
  • Here’s how to enter:

Write on,


June 3rd, 2019|Ink Reviews, Inksploration|1 Comment