We were taught pinch, slab, coil and wheel techniques. The requirement for the wheel was that the vessel had to have straight sides (like a glass). As it turns out it is much easier to make a bowl rather than a straight edged vessel.
At any rate, I had a place in my living room that I had been looking for a sculpture so I decided this was my opportunity to make my own! The school has several different kilns -- a raku kiln, soda kiln, another huge gas-fired kiln and several electric kilns. Our first firing was a raku -- it's a quick process. Once the temperature is reached, about 2300 degree Fahrenheit (by the way, I've discovered that potters are all basically pyromaniacs), the items are placed in the kiln, fired and then when red hot, removed from the kiln and placed in a barrel filled with newsprint or cedar shavings (any combustible).