Ash is generally a light gray color, sometimes with brown or black shades. The name "ash gray" is a reference to the color of naturally-produced ash substances, such as those from wood ash or volcanic ash. The first reference to "ash gray" as a color was made around 1374.
Ash is produced when an organic substance is burned. Ashes are the solid remnants of the burned material. For example, wood ash is produced by the burning of wood, bark or paper-mill sludge, while volcanic ash is left behind after the explosion of a volcano and often falls from the sky in the area surrounding the volcano.