I always enjoy the challenge and precision required to photograph metalwork pieces. From mirror-finished silver and gold to the dulling effect of rust or bronze disease it is so important to be aware of how light falls on, and is reflected by, a surface.
When looking at an object through a camera lens more often than not you are looking directly at what surrounds it and how this may affect the final image. Metalwork items tend to be made up by a series of flat and curved planes and the art of making a beautiful photograph that optimises the overall look of the item is achieved by controlling the reflections in these planes.
Being aware of both the light and the dark reflections and the cleanliness of the transition between the two, and how these may affect the final image, is important. In other words, the hardness or softness of a light; its size and therefore the distance at which it is positioned; white and black areas to give contrast and form; what happens to the edge detail where the angle of reflection approaches 180 degrees must all be considered.
Finally it is of course imperative to take into account the position of the camera, the last thing anybody wants is my reflection in their wonderful artefact.