Like the rest of modern American culture, American pipe making is heavily influenced by the European schools, although Asian aesthetics, at least as they play out in pipes, have also become a notable influence. In particular, the Italian, English, and French schools, with their traditional shapes, have formed the basis for the work of many American pipe makers who have pored over collections of old Dunhills, Barlings, GBDs, Costellos, Savinelli's, etc.. Many of these shapes were well established by the 1920s. Others are heavily influenced by the makers of Danish high grade pipes, who have likewise been influenced by their mentors, the fathers of the Danish freehand movement of the 1950's and '60s.
A new generation of American pipe makers have emerged. Many have made the trek to high grade pipe mecca to study with the master carvers. They have brought back an entire school of technique and aesthetic and made it their own. Others combine the traditional and freehand styles in a unique combination. Regardless of their influences, many of these American pipe makers are pursuing pipe making with a tremendous passion and energy, and an individual spirit, not unlike the one that molded the country.