The drypoint intaglio technique is the most direct of the printmaking methods. No chemicals, mordant or solvents are used in this process - simply a sharp metal scribe and a plate. Traditionally zinc and copper plates are used with drypoint but these days the less expensive and clearly more transparency Polycarbonate plates are popular. The artist holds the metal scribe much like a pencil and draws the lines by hand directly onto the plate. As the scribe is pressed into the plate small burrs appear on either side of the line - these burrs also hold ink and give the print a characteristically feathered, soft line.
Sadly, drypoint is not a durable intaglio method and the pressure of the press drum compresses the burr quickly. Less burr means less ink on the plate and on the print. Happily, my latest drypoint print, Olive, was created using Polycarbonate and I am quite pleased with the results - the image held up well during the printing process.