Saturday, October 5, 2013

Recent Acquisitions: Ink Samples

Back at the end of July, I mentioned that I was ready to start trying out bottled fountain pen inks.  I had originally planned to order some ink samples in August and start writing ink reviews in September, but thanks to my bad habit of procrastination, I didn't place my order until September and my inks did not arrive until a week ago!  Here are my ink samples:


It took me a ridiculously long time to decide on the ink colours for my first order.  I wanted a good mix of different brands and different colours, but I still ended up with a definite bias towards green and orange, my two favourite colours.  However, I am happy with my selection of colours:


As well as these eight ink samples, I also bought a Lamy Z24 converter for my Lamy Safari fountain pen.  (You can see it sitting in front of the ink samples.)

This order was my first time purchasing from The Goulet Pen Company.  While I am completely happy with my order, the shipping costs to Canada ended up being a bit more than I had expected (the shipping cost almost as much as my actual order did).  For my first ink order, I wanted to order from a company that I trusted completely, but I think that if/when I buy more inks, I will consider other options (ideally, I would love to buy from an actual physical store, but there are very few in my area that sell fountain pen inks).

That said, I am not complaining about Goulet Pens!  They are a great company, and their website is awesome.  When I was choosing my ink colours, I used their Swab Shop and especially their interactive ink swab comparison tool to view and compare ink swabs and pick out the ink colours that most appealed to me.  While I was nervous about my inks potentially leaking while in the mail, they all arrived safely.  I also love the Goulet Pen Company sticker, "Write On" bookmark, and Tootsie Pop that were included with my order :)  I would recommend Goulet Pens, but if you're an international customer and you're placing a relatively modest order, consider shipping costs before you buy.

Now that my inks have (finally) arrived, I can't wait to start trying them out!  In my next post, I'll clean my pen, install my converter, and load up my pen with my first ink.  And I'll post my first ink review later this month, so stay tuned for that!

8 comments:

  1. I have ordered from Goulet Pens several times, and they have wonderful customer service and really good prices. I love their ink samples. I like being able to try an ink color before committing to a whole bottle only to find out I don't like it. It's a shame that it is so expensive to ship to Canada and I hope you can find a less expensive alternative.

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    1. I think the shipping costs would have been okay if I had been ordering more, such as an expensive fountain pen and several full bottles of ink. But for a relatively small order, I'm not sure that it would be worth it in the future. Though Goulet Pens is awesome so I would love to support them, and I guess that alone is worth something.

      But, yeah, I love the ink samples! This way I can try out several different colours for the price of one full bottle.

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  2. Not tried any of the others, but Alt Goldgrun is beautiful, one of my favourite inks.

    My experience is that it flows fairly freely (so I use it in pens with dry-ish nibs). Looking forward to your reviews!

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    1. Thanks, John!

      Alt-Goldgrun was at the top of my list when I was choosing inks; I've seen some other reviews of it and it looks like the kind of colour that I will absolutely love. But of course I'm looking forward to trying them all out!

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  3. You will now experience the wrist pains on ink sampling :)...try an ink, flush clean converter, try an ink, flush clean converter, repeat, repeat. But it is a real joy of the hobby. I would suggest you start right off the bat with an ink journal or just some index cards and when you try each color record it so you can remember what it looked like. You may want to go back and get a full bottle.

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    1. Haha, yes, I can see that happening :) I'm still not quite sure what method I'm going to use to review / record the inks I try, but I'll definitely be using something! And I'm sure I will end up with full bottles of some of these inks, but probably not all of them - the Pilot Iroshizuku inks especially are a bit too pricey for me.

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  4. Hi Heather, really enjoy your blog. I also live in Canada, love The Goulet Pen Company and agree that shipping can be prohibitive. I subscribe to their newsletter and their Youtube channel - such a great company. They sent out a lovely explanation earlier this year as to why their shipping costs had to increase this year. So nice to have a company explain things like that. Anyway, I was just wondering if you've heard of wonderpens.ca? I've just discovered them myself and have not ordered anything from them yet, but they carry a large range of inks and shipping anywhere in Canada is only $7, or zero for orders of $100 or more. :)

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    1. Thank you very much for that comment! I checked out the Wonder Pens website; they don't seem to have quite as wide a selection of inks (no Pilot Iroshizuku, for example) and sadly don't sell ink samples, but the lower shipping costs are great. I'll definitely consider them when I'm looking to buy some full bottles of ink (I saw bottles of both Alt-Goldgrun and Diamine Meadow on there, two inks I'm fairly sure I'll be buying bottles of).

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