Polymer is a relatively young medium. It is a 20th-century development originally seen as a toy for children. As recently as 40 or 50 years ago, artists got their hands on it and started to fully explore its possibilities.
Quite a few of those early experimenters are still actively involved, making and selling things and teaching classes and workshops. (I don't want to make them sound ancient—many are younger than me!) I'm coming to the medium both later in the game and later in my life, but what a wonderful thing to get to learn directly from folks like Sarah Shriver, Loretta Lam, Kathleen Dustin, Dan Cormier (the photo is a bead I made while taking one of Dan's excellent online classes), Steve Ford, Carol Blackburn, and others who have been key to developing this field.
Techniques that we take for granted were the inventions of some of these folks, who didn't have a wide-ranging community to turn to for instruction or perhaps even connection. They found each other, though. and then inspired generations of creators to come. Now you can find millions of things online.
I feel lucky to be in this stream!