The drypoint is, among other things, the name of the burin used for this type of engraving. The technique consists in engraving - causing grooves, scratches, staves, buffing, lifting small burrs using the steel burin - the matrix which can be of zinc or copper, to the extent necessary, so that the engraved part can hold the ink that will be deposited on the paper, with the help of the pressure of the press. Although it is an elementary technique, in the purely "technical" procedure, it requires a lot of attention from the artist, who cannot make mistakes or have second thoughts. Should he make a mistake, the artist loses days of work. Once engraved, the plate is inked with heat, so that all the engraved grooves can be penetrated by the liquid. You then continue by cleaning the plate with the help of paper, rags and, to finish with your fingers, bringing the plate to its characteristic shine. The matrix loaded with color is ready to give the impression of printing on the sheet. This must first be moistened, in order to have sufficient flexibility at the pressure of the chalcographic press. The circulation of the copies will not be considerable, given the low resistance of copper or zinc, to maintain the engraved structure, subjected to forced changes in the pressure of the press. Already at the beginning of the twentieth century, in order to increase the circulation, which generally was around thirty copies, the plates were previously treated with electrolytic processes, to veil the entire matrix with steel material, making it harder.
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