Generally speaking, most metal, when it comes into contact with air and/or the oils of your skin, will darken, this is called patina. This is a natural process and it really depends on each individual person as to how long it will take before your piece will develop its own aged look. Some of the pieces I make are coated with a protective (food safe) coating in order to prevent tarnishing.
Most of the copper jewellery I make is finished with an antique patina and coated with a light Renaissance Wax polish. It may gradually darken over time but it can be restored with a gentle polish using a silver polishing cloth. Be careful polishing chains, earring posts and clasps etc. as they can bend or break under excessive force. It is best to store your jewellery away from moisture and direct light when not being worn. This will help to prevent tarnish. It’s a good idea to make your jewellery the last thing you put on, spraying perfume and hairspray etc. first. Remove before bathing, showering or swimming as contact with water, particularly chlorinated or salt water will speed up the tarnishing process.
Silver is generally more forgiving when it comes to tarnishing but, over time, if not worn and not kept in a dry place away from moisture it can also start to tarnish. A quick buff with a silver polishing cloth will restore the shine.
Enamel is finely ground glass which is fused onto copper at very high temperatures. Enamel is generally very strong but care should be taken to ensure against chipping the edges. Store in a cloth bag or box to guard against accidental knocks. Dropping the piece or being excessively rough with it can lead to small chips and cracks in the surface. Don’t forget... it is glass!
Copper spoons can be cleaned in a variety of ways: Tomato ketchup applied with an old toothbrush, sponge or towel, works wonders! Scrub until the copper is clean again and then wash off with dish soap and water. Do ensure that you dry the piece thoroughly after washing. Any water residue will dry leaving dark stains! Please see my short video for an exact “how to” guide. Very fine “000” grade wire wool can be used to gently buff the copper back to a lovely shine (I always use Rustins). The emphasis being on gently. Over-the-counter copper cleaners are also available. I have only tried PennyBrite, which is excellent but not generally available in the UK (it’s an American product).
Your homeware item may have been sealed with a protective coating and will not tarnish. Left in its natural state it will need a buff from time to time with a silver polishing cloth or very fine “000” grade wire wool can be used to gently buff the copper back to a lovely shine (I always use Rustins.) The emphasis being on gently.