Monday, September 22, 2014

Sneak Peek: Pilot Vanishing Point in Copper (2014 LE)

This year's limited edition Pilot Vanishing Point is nearly upon us. For 2014, it features a copper colored barrel with rhodium accents. It's a bit difficult to tell from these pictures exactly how dark the copper color is, but we'll get our hands on one in person soon enough to show it off!

It comes with a CON-50 converter and a 14k rhodium-plated medium nib, though you can purchase separate VP nib units to swap it out for another size if you so desire. It comes in a special white box with copper lettering to match the pen.

There will be 2014 total pens produced worldwide, and each pen has a unique serial number engraved. Full MSRP is $240, though we'll be offering it for $192. We've managed to procure a good number, but we don't expect them to last forever! Expected arrival date is sometime next week (late September/early October).

What do you think of this year's color?

Monday Matchup #14: Pilot Custom 74, Blue with Medium nib and Caran d'Ache Idyllic Blue

It’s a beautiful Monday here in Ashland, Virginia. The skies are clear and blue, the air is cool, and it feels perfectly fall. It’s already a great start to the week and we’ll add to it with some Monday Match-up.

This week we channeled our inner Brian Goulet and choose his favorite pen, the Pilot Custom 74 in blue with medium nib, and paired it with a true blue, Caran d’Ache Idyllic Blue. This is a bona fide Goulet combo, folks. The Custom 74 is smooth to write with, like a sailboat floating across glassy water early in the morning. And the Idyllic Blue ink has incredible flow, working seamlessly with the pen. It offers some light shading, but is overall a vibrant hue.

Caitlin chose to draw a quick and simple sketch of a sailboat, this week. Alex provided a writing sample to demonstrate how this pair worked together.

If you could create a “Goulet combo” what would it be? What do you currently have matched? Let us know!

Hope y’all have a fantastic week! Happy Monday!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Goulet Q&A Episode 49, Open Forum

This week's Q&A talks about Pelikan m600 vs m800, cost effectiveness of fountain pens vs. rollerballs, pen shopping, and more. Enjoy! 

1) @y2bd- Twitter (5:46):
I've found that inks that are sheen-heavy tend to smear easily even days after "drying". Is this just to be expected?
  • That’s definitely been my experience
  • Sheening basically only happens when excess ink is sitting on the surface of the paper
  • Maybe not ALL sheen inks smear, but most do

2) Jasper B.- Facebook (8:53):
I'm thinking about getting a Pelikan pen in their "M" series, but i don't know if it should be a M600 or M800, I'm afraid of the size of the pen, it looks like the 600 is mostly cap and not so much pen, but i hear alot of people say that the 800 goes in the totally other direction and that it is much bigger than you would espect. I love the size of my Namiki Falcon and my Aurora Style, and the 18k nib is pulling me more towards a 800 than the 14k nib on the 600, what are your thoughts?
  • the nib on the m800 does feel a little softer, hard to say if it’s because of the 18k or just the bigger nib overall
  • going from a Falcon to an m800 is a pretty big change in size
  • check out Nib Nook for comparison
  • m800 is not just bigger, but heavier because of metal ‘guts’
  • i personally like the m800 more, because I like big pens
  • the size and nib on the m800 are pluses for me, you’ll have to decide what’s best for you

3) Ben C.- Facebook (12:18):
Hi Brian, I recently got asked this by a colleague and wanted to know your thoughts on the issue. Is it less expensive, more expensive, or approximately the same expense to own and use a fountain pen vs. a roller-ball pen (a Pilot G2 or similar)? I said it was less expensive based off the usage of my TWSBI 580 and Noodler's black ink after about 30 weeks. I know it's dependent on a lot of different variables so we assumed a roller-ball lasted 2 months and that the fountain pen needed refilled bi-weekly.
  • It’ll REALLY depend on how much you spend on your fountain pen
  • just ink alone, the most expensive is gel, then ballpoint, then fountain (usually, depends on the ink used)
  • if you’re like me and get totally hooked on fountain pens, then it will DEFINITELY not end up being cheaper! ;) 

4) Andrew H.- Facebook (15:14):
Brian, thanks again for these wonderful Q&A sessions, they are very informative. Small question, context first: I am using the Lamy Safari charcoal with the EF nib. I will in the next few weeks, be buying another Lamy Safari from your company. I want to start using bottle ink, because I've noticed that using a cartridge each week, is not very cost effective. Now the small question: you talk about saving money, using bottle ink vs cartridges.If I am only using up a cartridge each week, and then move up to use bottle ink, how much money will I be saving each month? The amount of writing will very from time to time, but I average one cartridge per-week. How long will a bottle of, let's say, X of 3oz, last me? Thanks again!!:)
  • Lamy carts $4/5-pack
  • you’re paying $0.80/week now
  • $12 (cost of Noodler’s 3oz ink) would equal 15-weeks of ink cartridges
  • 1 cartridge ~ 1-ml of ink
  • 3oz bottle ~ 90ml
  • 90 weeks of ink for you
  • 90 weeks of cartridges costs $72
  • total savings over the life of 1 3oz Noodler’s bottle ~ $60 

5) Emily P.- Facebook (19:40):
The cap to my Pilot Plumix got stuck and refuses to twist open. Help?
  • twist harder!
  • use rubber glove/band
  • break it if you have to, it won’t do you any good closed anyway, it’s only $9 to replace 

6) Exequiel L.- Facebook (20:37):
Hi Brian, what is your favourite pen made by Noodler's Ink?
  • it *will* be the Neponset once I get it in!
  • so far, the Baikal Acrylic Konrad

7) Edgar H.- Facebook (21:54):
What is your favorite Lamy ink color?
Also, I have an idea for the Q&As. It seems that you have not enough time to answer all the questions you want to, so, I was wondering that It might help if, instead of just Open Forum videos every week, you make something like specific "Paper forum" "Ink forum" (etc.) videos.
  • Lamy Turquoise, by far
  • did the topic-based Q&A’s for a while, look on Ink Nouveau 
  • I actually like getting ‘too many’ questions

8) Laura P.- Facebook (25:14):
What pen would you suggest for someone who loves fountain pens but is basically terrified to purchase let alone use one? That would be me!

9) Christine D.- Facebook (27:00):
Is there a listing of De Atramentis "people" and "flowers" inks as they correspond to the standard line? I've been poking around a bit and don't believe that the name on the side of the bottle is always the standard color (for example Alexander Hamilton says aubergine on the bottle - but it's not clear if that is Aubergine the ink or if De Atramentis is just saying that Alexander Hamilton ink is aubergine, the color).
  • no, we don’t have a master listing
  • we’ve been asked about putting that together, honestly it’s confusing for us too
  • definitely some overlap 

10) Rob P.- Facebook (29:21):
(paraphrase) How soft is the Falcon nib compared to the Nib Creaper under normal writing pressure? I use moderate pressure and find that the Nib Creaper will not flex if I write normally. Is the falcon nib much softer? I know you have a slightly heavier hand so I would be interested in your opinion. Thanks!!
  • I think they’re somewhat close, Falcon is probably a little softer, but the Noodler’s flexes further 

11) Kien N.- Facebook (32:02):
I have some issues with my Konrad that has the Goulet 1.1 stub nib on it. When I inked the pen up, there was ink inside the part where the nib and feed fit into the pen. Even though I only screwed the cap half way through, the cap became too tightened onto the body after 1-2 days. However, despite the tight cap, the ink inside still dried up and I had flow issues afterward. I am not sure if the issues are connected or if they are independent of each other. What should I do to get it working well?
  • I don’t think the ink had anything to do with the cap being tight
  • what ink? That matters
  • try heat setting
  • wide open feed on these pens, they will dry up in a shorter-than-normal timeframe 

12) Aaron D.- Facebook (35:45):
If you could add any dealer to your line which would it be and why?
  • several I’m considering, can’t say who
  • nothing firm in the works at the moment
  • working on some other cool stuff right now
  • who would you want to see me pick up? 

13) Mate F.- Facebook (38:26):
What do you think is the best cartridge out there? Also, what pen would you recommend for no more than $50 that can take standard international?

14) Garrison G.- Facebook (40:00):
Hey Brian I love your company and thank you and your team for all you have done my question is I am in middle school what pens do you think are great for me ? Once again thank you

15) Melanie S.- Facebook (43:25):
Is the TWSBI Diamond 580 in red white and blue a myth? Why does it keep getting pushed back? Been waiting since at least August for it.
  • TWSBI 580 USA is not a myth! It’s been in the works since spring
  • should just be a couple more weeks
  • one-shot deal, you’d better jump on it if you want it 

16) Kari S.- Facebook (48:03):
I know it is possible to special order pens. Is it possible to order a specific ink as well?
  • anything is possible, but usually not practical
  • we stock most ink regularly
  • only special order requests are usually for De Atramentis
  • tough because it takes 2-3 months to get shipments in, so we don’t do special orders anymore for them 

17) Lori P.- Facebook (52:15):
When will Lamy announce the new colors for 2015?
  • Lamy Studio Wild Rubin is the only thing I know is in the works (mid-October)
  • I’m sure there will be more colors next year
  • Don’t know what yet 

18) Shawn D.- Facebook (54:23):
Any chance if you'll be getting in the Rhodia No. 80 pads? If so, when and what will the price be?
  • yeah, we will at some point but not right away
  • should be available now
  • price is around $10

Thanks to everyone who asked me questions this week. Be sure to say hey on my personal Twitter handle @BrianGoulet_. If you have any rando pen questions for next week, just ask below! And check out any old Q&A's here if you've missed them. Have an awesome week. 

Write On,
Brian Goulet