In terms of design, there is still much to discover in the briar pipe after 1950. This applies to both established factories and small, independently operating workshops all over Europe. Initially France was leading, but that position is gradually shifting. In the sixties and seventies, the Danish design with the freely designed freehand, was a great success. Shortly afterwards, artisan workshops were created in the region of Pesaro in Italy, which deliver the beautifully balanced briar pipes in the most luxurious finish. Depending on creativity, workshops were set up in other places as well, achieving top-notch results.
The fact that the established companies contribute their part is evident, for example, at Butz-Choquin in Saint-Claude, which succeeded in marking every decade with special time-bound designs. Only one pipe maker is active in the Netherlands: Big-Ben in Roermond has been making pipes since 1958. The pipo and the high bowl are fine examples of their own designs. The shape, color scheme and finish of the pipe were always a reflection of its era, which makes the pipe a fashion item par excellence.
The Porsche pipe, launched at the end of the 1980s, proves to be the choice for snobs and gets a second life at the Dutch factory Big-Ben. The tattoo is a revolutionary design from 1989: a smooth plastic pipe with a small bowl made of briar wood meant to breathe new life into pipe smoking – in vain, however. Fortunately, manufacturers remain innovative in the 21st century. Testimonials of new élan are the special issues from the Bugatti studio and designs by Antoine Grenard, the new owner of Chacom. Tsuge is active in Tokyo, their lightweight windscreen pipe garnered worldwide admiration around 2010.
In the United States and Canada, the carving of wooden figural pipes for a select group of collectors developed after the Second World War. A famous pipe carver is the American Stanley Jarka, who made many beautiful pipes in the 1970s. Although the sitters are contemporary, the technique remained unchanged for more than a century. Only the horn or rubber mouthpieces have been replaced by fancy acrylic.