I've been playing about a year and have taken a "long view" when it comes to Cannith crafting. I've mostly relied on others to craft shards for me here and there, bought some on the AH, and made a few of my own. I've also religiously deconstructed nearly all items I didn't think were saleable for good coin on the AH... and over the course of four lives have compiled a huge number of greater and lesser essences.. thousands and tens of thousands respectively. My crafting levels are around 50 due mostly to thousands of deconstructs and just a few shards made.
My question now is what to do with them. I could just make the shards that offer the most XP, but I'll use up all my essences and probably not be able to afford to buy another large number of them.
Are there any tips or tricks to making the most efficient use of essences, to get the "most mileage" out of them so to speak? Are there particular types of shards that sell particularly well so I can recoup some funds and/or reduce the cost of this endeavor?
PS Is there an advantage to waiting for an artificer life before doing a big training push?