I learned to throw pottery in my high school art class. All of my study hall time was spent "studying" wheel thrown pottery. Our art teacher was Bill Marinich.
Memories of a high school art room...
The clay we used came from a big garbage can of muck that we had to wedge on plaster boards. We made our own bats out of plaster that we had to secure to the bat with clumps of clay. How did we ever center anything?
Glazes were in several garbage buckets. We had no idea what color you were going to get. Our work had to survive a lot (especially sitting on a shelve of an art room). Check out some of my first pieces in the 80's. Check them out here.
I bought my own wheel as a turning 40 gift to myself. I would take my greenware to various local potters for bisque and glaze firing. Inconvenient, but was thankful I had potters to support me.
Fifteen years later, I purchased my own little kiln.