Home 2018-06-30T13:07:44+00:00

Goulet Q&A Episode 219: Dip Testing Nibs and Making Swirly Pen Materials!

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about dip testing nibs, converter ink capacities, and how swirly pen materials are made!

This week:


1) Marilyn G.- Facebook (10:50)

Can one get useful information about a pen nib by dipping the nib to test it, or is it necessary to actually fill the pen with ink to get a true feel for how the nib will perform?

  • yes! you can get useful information about the nib, how it feels, writes, etc
  • nib smoothness, spring, line variation, all workable
  • the only thing you can’t get from dipping is a test of the ink flow of the pen

2) k_y_l_1_e- Instagram (17:06)

Should I wind the piston down as the ink gets lower in my Twsbi? I see photos of where this has been done, but not sure if it needs to be done.

  • you definitely don’t need to do this
  • sometimes people prefer to in order to either increase the flow or to decrease the chance of burping
  • the same can be done with any type of piston, like on a converter
  • it’s a matter of your personal preference, but in order to maintain consistent flow, it’s not required on a properly functioning pen
  • ink flows by capillary action
  • as long as ink is making contact with the back of the feed and isn’t impeded, it’ll flow

3) @kunaineck- Twitter (25:18)

Which branded converters that you can buy have the greatest ink capacity? I know the con-70 is pretty good, but what about the others?

  • basically, the Con-70’s the only one that makes a noticeable difference, up to 1.1ml
  • most converters will get you around the .86ml ink capacity, SI, Aurora, Jinhao, Lamy
  • a little lower, others are slightly more than .6ml, Waterman, Platinum, Parker, Montegrappa, Pilot Con-40
  • slightly smaller SI converters end up being more around .55/.6 (Nemosine, Kaweco, Monteverde Mini)
  • you may see some variance within 10% or so up or down, but largely it’s not the most critical factor when shopping for a converter pen

4) stuartjackson612- Instagram (33:27)

As a previous pen manufacturer yourself, could you please explain how the beautiful marbled and swirling pattern that you find in these acrylics and celluloid are formed?

  • this manufacturing process is extremely proprietary, so I can’t speak with certainty
  • I know from having mixed my own using dyes and mica powders
  • some can be swirls of different powders, which is essentially added in and swirled around physically to get that swirly look
  • I honestly don’t know exactly how the ribbons happen, it could be a thinner solid material is placed into the liquid resin during casting
  • flecked is put into casting in chunks
  • thin lines, mechanically cut and layered
  • there are many different processes, and it’s fascinating when you really think about it!


5) parkej4- Instagram (43:08)

How should I use the blotting paper attached to a Lamy ink bottle? The two sides seem different.

  • it’s there really to wipe off the nib, so use it however it works best for you!
  • the idea is to use the more absorbent side, I think
  • unfortunately there’s no replacement paper, so I’d say maybe rely more on paper towel and just use this in a pinch

QOTW: What’s your favorite ink bottle? (46:36)

Writing Prompt: Make a list of 5 people you wish you could meet from any point in history. (47:02)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

July 27th, 2018|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Thursday Things: J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings themed fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

Enter the shire and set out on an exciting writing adventure with these great products shown in Thursday Things: J.R.R. Tolkien. Drawing inspiration from the enduring legacy of the author’s works, let yourself gaze upon these writing tools highlighting the browns of The Shire, lush greenery of Rivendell, and even some fiery finds straight from Mordor. Unlike the hobbits, you don’t even have to leave your comfy chair to take part in the journey of a lifetime. Grab one of the pens, inks, or accessories shown in Thursday Things: J.R.R. Tolkien and set out on the first step of an epic writing endeavor.

Featured products from left to right:


J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings themed fountain pens, notebooks, and ink.

Who would be your people in Endórë?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

July 26th, 2018|Thursday Things|0 Comments

Goulet Q&A Episode 218: Boutique Inks, Diluting Ink, and 3D Printed Pens

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

July 20th, 2018|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Thursday Things: Germany

Round up of brands with German made fountain pens, ink, and notebooks.

Guten Tag! Welcome to a special international edition of Thursday Things. This assortment of German products was inspired by suggestions from you, our fun and vibrant community! Thursday Things: Germany features a stunning sampling of inks, pens, and notebooks from brands such as Graf von Faber-Castell, Pelikan, LAMY, Leuchtturm1917, Kaweco, and Rohrer & Klingner. You will also find some of the Diplomat pens that are coming to Goulet next week! Take a moment to admire the beautiful designs from our favorite German brands then head on over to our site to bring some of these piece home to your collection.

Featured products from left to right:

Round up of brands with German made fountain pens, ink, and notebooks.

Which German brand do you have the most products from?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

July 19th, 2018|Thursday Things|0 Comments

Can You Guess The Famous Artwork From These Fountain Pen Layouts?

Our talented product photographer, Whitney, has an eye for all things artistic. In this series of arrangements, she re-imagined a few famous works of art into precisely placed fountain pen assortments. This series, titled #ArtHistoryDesk was originally featured on our Instagram and we thought you all would love to see it in a quiz form. So without further ado, check out our latest quiz and see how many works you can guess!

Pottery of various shapes and sizes, painted with ritualistic scenes with orange and black figures, were a common archaeological find of this country’s ancient civilization. Any guesses as to where one might find an amphora sporting this style of decoration?

This Italian Renaissance painting, Nascita di Venere, represents a particular event in classical mythology. Though it incorporates many classical techniques, many of the proportions and elements of the painting depicted are purely imaginary. Who was the artist behind this masterpiece, and what do we call it in English?

These beautiful objects first took the form of an Imperial Russian gift in 1885. The gift was so well received that one was commissioned annually, with full artistic liberty given to the makers. One of the largest public collections of these ornate wonders can actually be found right here in Richmond Virginia! Can anyone guess the famous name associated with them?

The tragic singing subject of this famous painting by Millais has been the inspiration for many other works of art since. Her first appearance is in a play by William Shakespeare.

This famous De Stijl painter loved primary colors! Can you guess the artist who painted the well-known “Composition?”

This artist was known for his wild colored silk-screen prints which celebrated pop culture and consumerism. Take a trip to The Factory for a guess at this staple Pop Art figure!

This incredibly famous post-impressionist painting is was made by one Dutch artist after he’d checked himself into a monastery-turned-asylum 129 years ago. What is the name of this celestial-themed work, and who was its creator?

This arrangement has been inspired by a famous surrealist painting whose creator had Einstein’s theory of relativity on the brain when it was painted in 1931. What is the name of this Spanish artist and his most recognized work?

How did you do? Let us know in the comments below!

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team


July 18th, 2018|Quizzes|0 Comments

Visconti Vertigo Overview

New from Visconti, the Vertigo is an elegant and luxurious fountain pen that’s sure to turn a few heads. Handmade in Florence Italy, the Vertigo appeals to both Visconti enthusiasts and those looking for a ‘next next level’ pen. It features a new beautiful nib from Visconti and vibrant colors. Watch our full overview video for more details!

While new, the Vertigo design is very reminiscent of the Visconti Opera with a new tapered look while being a bit lighter than the Opera Master. The Vertigo comes in 4 resin colors:

  • Burgundy Wine – deep pearlescent burgundy color like the wines you’d find in Tuscany swirled with a deep, solid black
  • Marble Blue – VERY deep blue, almost black, with swirls of a pearlescent royal blue
  • Tiger Orange – solid black swirled with pearlescent orange
  • True Black – pretty much what it says!

Visconti Vertigo

In hand, there’s a tapered metal grip that’s cool to the touch and warms as you write. Metal grips aren’t everyone’s favorite especially if you have oily fingers, so it might be best for quick notes rather than long writing sessions. The step is practically seamless and with it having a magnetic cap, it means there’s no threads at all. This gives it a very streamlined design when capped and uncapped.

The weight is a little on the heavier side at 40g. That compares to the Visconti Homo Sapiens (43g), Pineider La Grande Bellezza (38g), and Karas Kustoms Ink (39g). The body itself is only 24g, so similar to what a LAMY 2000 feels posted, or a bit less than a Pilot Vanishing Point. When not posted, it’s very well-balanced in hand, but becomes more back weighted when posted.

Visconti Vertigo

The nib itself is one of the most interesting aspects of the pen. It’s a stainless steel nib with 14kt gold overlay. It’s hard to say if the overlay is anything more than aesthetics, but ink flows really well with it, very smooth, and consistent. While this is certainly a premium to pay for a steel nib, it feels every bit as nice as a stiffer gold nib while also looking as fancy as it does.

The Vertigo uses a standard international cartridge/converter filling system with just over 1ml of ink capacity. It’ll fit both long and short standard international cartridges. With the price, you may feel a piston-filling mechanism is to be expected, but I find the cartridge/converter to be as appealing because it’s significantly easier to clean and maintain! It is available in Fine, Medium, and Broad. The nib itself is very smooth with consistent flow. Not much spring to it, very stiff/nail-like for a steel nib.

The MSRP for the Visconti Vertigo is $475. Log into your Gouletpens.com account to see the best price available.

Overall this is a great pen if you’re looking for a solid performer with a unique nib, unique shape, and with a bit of flash. For more details and up-to-date specs on the Visconti Vertigo be sure to check it out on GouletPens.com.

Visconti Vertigo

What do you think? Are you a fan of the Visconti Vertigo? Leave a comment and let us know!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

July 17th, 2018|Pen Reviews|0 Comments