Thanks everyone for all the great ideas!
My personal favs:
Work Surface: A dark glass sheet. If traveling, a 12 inch smooth floor or wall tile or larger if available.
Baking and Working: Ceramic or porcelain tiles of every size on which to sculpt, create and bake. I use these under every project as handling unbaked clay can distort it so I use a tile about the size of the base of my project. The smaller the project, the smaller the tile. Since the tile can go right into the oven my work is not damaged by moving it from one surface to another.
Exception: If shiny spots are to be avoided, cut white card stock slightly smaller than the tile and place the clay project or pieces on the card stock on the tile.
Light: A very good light with bright white bulbs to keep the colors clean. Mixing a bright purple when using a standard incandescent bulb is nearly impossible as the yellow light from incandescent bulbs will wipe out the purple color rendering it into brown. I'm always reminded that color is best when mixed in light as white as the light from the sun. I keep the light low and over my hands. I often have people fret that they can't see the project well and are amazed how well they can see when I move a light over their hands. Ceiling lights are not usually good lighting for small clay projects.
Most important, start with what you have and know and get comfortable with the clay. In 1982 I had some Fimo, several old ceramic tiles, an old toaster oven, a safety razor blade and a round toothpick. As I learned how to work with the clay, and what I most enjoyed making I added different 'tools' as needed. For seven years I made doll house scale miniatures and a line of tiny bears in my home and was able to sell enough to be able to continue to be a stay at home mom.
So, let your heart lead you, start small and have fun!