When to oxidize? I almost always oxidize copper to get that nice warm tone. But what about silver? There are certain pieces that I oxidized because it adds so much depth. The oxidation brings out the detail in the wirework and really makes the piece pop. Like this pendant...
And this necklace, the oxidation really shows the wirework well and provides a great contrast in color.
And then sometimes I oxidize...just because
But then again, I like to leave some pieces shiny. Sometimes shiny really makes a piece stand out. Bright, shiny silver provides great contrast against a darker colored bead. Such was the case when determining whether to oxidize this bracelet. I felt like oxidizing this piece would make it dull.
And then there is the case where I'm not sure which would be better. Like here...
The downfall to oxidizing is once it's done...it's done. You can always polish the piece and get off a majority of the oxidation but it will never be bright and shiny again. And I hate the polishing part, all those little piece of steel wool get stuck in the coiling, my hands are stained black and smell like metal for at least a day. However, I've recently learned that the polishing can also be done with a scotch brite pad...I'm definitely gonna try this.
The downfall to shiny...well for me anyway, is the photographing. I can't get a decent picture of a nice, shiny piece, like the above necklace. The shiny silver acts like a mirror, depending on the angle I get a reflection of my lens. And then there are the dark spots...very frustrating.
So what is your preference? Mine...shiny. I really gravitate toward a bright, shiny piece of jewelry, but then again it depends on the piece.