Studying fine art was a great three years but we were left to our own devices as far as craft process goes, there was very little teaching of processes.
In my first year of work, I learned so much more than I had in three years at art school: Silver and lead soldering, threading, lathe operation, metal polishing, lacquering, patinating, gilding and wiring.
The first couple of years of work in London were financially challenging. I was on minimum wage and just able to afford my rent and bills but not much else. I shared a house to keep over head down. But in that job, I honed my craft and won skills for life, found my direction. Invaluable!
My advice to you
As a craftsperson or artist, the highest accolade you can receive is to be purchased and placed, sought after and collected. Never be shy about selling your work, it enables you to make more work and eventually afford to be more ambitious with materials: large scale, more valuable materials etc.