here is another cheap way to get started that involves just a little research to get started type in the words "raku instructions" on Google. Raku is a Japanese pottery style that requires much less heat than kiln firing.
It must be noted that Raku Is Definitely no food safe... but a great start for art pieces.
On a side note : I picked up a small kiln for $60 on Craigslist that is 110 volts (standard household power). It fires to 2200 degrees.
I out fitted it with an electronic timer and thermostat. the whole thing cost around $100 to do. I am not only firing ceramics but also working glass and metal. So there are cheap ways to get started.