Thursday, 25 October 2012

Colour My World Grey

Color icon gray v2.svg
Whoops, I did it again. I almost forgot to write the info post for Colour My World Grey this month. Only three months left and I have to admit that I'm struggling a bit with this challenge. I'll complete it though 'cause this is the real challenge part. :)

So let's talk about grey or gray, depending where you are from. Grey is the British, Canadian, Australian, Irish, New Zealand and South African spelling and gray is the preferred American spelling, although both are acceptable variants.

Grey is not a colour I used in my quilts until I made this burgundy and grey one for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law four or five years ago. I had the hardest time finding grey batiks. Of course, now they are all over the place!

According to Sensational Color, "Gray is a color that is dignified, conservative, and carries authority. Gray is controlled and inconspicuous and is considered a color of compromise, perhaps because it sits between the extremes of black and white. Gray is a perfect neutral, which is why designers often use it as a background color."

Forget fifty shades of grey, the human eye can actually distinguish about 500 shades of grey. That said there are few names for them. According to the Oxford Dictionaries blog, there are only a few names for shades of grey e.g. dove-gray, battleship-grey, pearl-gray, cinereous and cinereal. Seriously, who uses cinereous or cinereal?! Both mean ash-coloured, by the way. Wikipedia suggests a few more grey names like Davy's Grey, Cadet Grey, and even Xanadu, but most shades of grey are described in terms of how light or dark it is.

Some random interesting grey tidbits:
  • Grey is often associated with things that are dull and boring and represents pessimism.
  • "Greys" has been used by environmentalists to describe technophiles as being those who like granite, concrete and other city materials versus "greens" for environmentalists.
  • The expression "grey area" is used to describe situations that have no clear moral value, or more positively, to balance an all-black or all-white view (for example, shades of grey represent magnitudes of good and bad).
  • Scandinavian folklore often depicts their gnomes and nisser in grey clothing. This is partly because of their association with dusk, partly because these races, including elves, often are outside moral standards (black or white). 
  • "Grey power" is used to refer to the economic or social influence of the elderly.
  • The Gray Panthers work for economic and social justice.
  • Having a lot of "grey matter" (brains) is a good thing. 
  • Gray is the color of intellect, knowledge, and wisdom. It is perceived as long-lasting, classic, and often as sleek or refined. 
  • Those who can read auras say that those who are suffering from the mental illness of depression have grey auras.
  • Driving a silver or grey car says that you are elegant, love futuristic looks, cool. Yeah, baby, yeah!
Some other fun resources for grey:
So what do you think you would you do with the softer black or the white with edge? Linky party will go up on Wednesday, October 31st!


  1. Fun...who knew grey was so interesting LOL!

  2. This was fun to read. :) Thanks for putting together all these facts and tid bits. I usually spell grey with the "e" even though I am American. I always have wondered why there are two ways to spell this.

  3. You did a very nice job on that quilt...I love grey. I guess I am sort of an earthy person....not dull...haha; just earthy.

  4. I quite like grey as a foil for bright colours - but grey with grey without being dull...another challenging month! Love your pumpkin in the post below, btw.


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