I've been throwing, as a hobby.... selling at one or two shows a year, for 15 years. I built my home "studio", slowly. I had a junky old wheel, and a junky, firetrap, old kiln. Then moved up. I bought a new wheel, and a better used kiln. Then I bought a 10 x 16 barn... insulated it, then a new computer controlled kiln. One 'major' purchase every few years. Pottery is my art therapy.... I'm looking to have fun, and maybe to support my habit.
I toss in a community arts center class to learn new techniques and meet new people every few years. Go into it with the assumption that you are there for the Ideas and the people.... And any pieces you actually make there, and actually get home? gravy.
I like to take my own bats, and take the wet pieces home, to trim and dry. I drive an old junky suv... flip those seats down and haul tons of stuff. In all the classes I've taken, driving 35 minutes home, with 8 or more wet pieces on bats in the back? I've lost something like 3 pieces. This also makes attaching handles, altering, and stacking, easier than going back to the studio. I can bisque at home, but the art center I take classes at, fires to cone 10/gas, so I do depend on them to glaze fire.
I am lucky to live close to Brackers.... they have a once a month demonstration by different artists, and everyone knows to not ask me for anything on "Second Saturday"!