I learned to throw pottery in my high school art class. All of my study hall time was spent "studying" in the art room sitting at the wheel teaching myself to throw.
There are many memories of the JE High School art room with our teacher, Bill Marinich. I don't recall Mr. Marinich letting us use nice bagged clay for our projects. The clay we used came from a big garbage can of muck that we had to wedge forever. Occasionally, I would get my hands on some "new" clay. I threw a lot of anchors as Mr. Marinich would say to me. I still like my pots to be heavy at the bottom. Marinich was tough, but it made us all better.
We had to make our bats out of plaster and then secure them to the wheel head with lumps 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 a high school art room). Check out some of my first pieces in the 80's.
I bought my own wheel when I turned 40 -- a gift to myself. I threw on and off for 15 years and would have to 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. Now I throw pots and fire all year long. I get to try different projects all at my own pace and time schedule. It's wonderful.
I am considering offering private lessons for individuals who would be interested in learning to get into wheel-thrown pottery. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you think it's something you want to try.