First and foremost, crafting isn't done yet. Consider it to be in a "beta" stage. So don't panic if you start on a skill to find only a few recipes available. Some skills are more complete than others. Alchemy and cooking are 95% done. There's plenty to do with blacksmithing, tailoring, and tanning. The other skills need some work, but its well worth your time to get started in them.
Before you can begin crafting you will have to fins a "master" of the skill you want to learn. These masters are scattered all over the servers (because we want you to explore:D) Right now you have to pay them for their time, but I hope to turn them into a "fetch me some of this ingredient and I'll teach you" quests soon.
You will find it very difficult to do much crafting on your own....well...you can, but it will take a lot of time and you will have to learn a lot of different skills. And that's fine if that's how you like to craft. I made the recipes to encourage RP as much as possible. So, blacksmiths will need ingredients from tanners, Fletcher's will need woodworkers, most everyone will need alchemists etc. I would STRONGLY suggest forming a crafting guild. Not for keeping recipes a secret, but for sharing ingredients. If you guys don't want to get together and have a wholly PC based guild, I will be happy to start one with an NPC guild leader hosted in the Bastion Crafting Hall.
You will find some very expensive items being sold on merchants: Cooking kits, sewing kits etc. These act like portable crafting place ables. The intention here is to allow you to craft and role play. For example, you can sit at around the fire and chat while you tailor. If you are caught using these items to camp resources (no sewing in cotton fields people!) or in places where its just dumb to use them (no cooking in the mino caves, you will attract more monsters) expect to get DP'd and looted. If we find people abusing these items they will be removed from the server entirely.
These kits are about the same price as a crafting placeable...but I THINK there may be a chance that they will break. I'm not sure about that though...heh.
As I said before, this isn't nearly done yet. What can you expect?
One more skill will be added on completion of a current plot.
Lots and lots more recipes including the ability to enchant crafted items. Right now all of the items with properties should be considered "alchemical" rather than truly magical for RP purposes.
Adjustments to the rate you gain experience and the levels at which you can make items. This is something I can't do without feedback from you
Oh...and 1.67 update will bring some new possibilities, such as the ability to put your unique mark on the items you make.
So.... in conclusion...please give the new system a try and post feedback. The more people who try it, the faster bugs will be found and fixed and the sooner the system can be completed.