A soft, greasy mineral form of carbon with a steel-gray to black metallic luster, used as a drawing material. Until the 18th century, natural lump graphite was placed in bone or wood holders for application. Since the 18th century, powdered graphite has been mixed with clay and fired to create the hard sticks used in pencils. Graphite can also be used as a powder and applied to a support with implements such as rags, fingers, or rolled paper stumps. Powdered graphite can also be mixed with water for brush application.