Making Pilas: Setting the Mold

Making Pilas: Setting the Mold

The first step of making the Guatemalan washbasin is to set the concrete mold pieces and then filling it with concrete. The concrete mold pieces are covered with burnt oil so they don’t stick to the fresh new concrete. The whole process from setting up the mold pieces to putting the final details like white dots, takes about 24 hours.

I have to share with you that I was also pretty ignorant about how pilas were made and having Don Eduardo González explained every step of the process was an eye-opener. I hope you enjoyed this mini-series. Let me know what questions you would like to have answered.

© 2010 – 2013, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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  • I thought it was very interesting! I told hubby I want a pila and I want that blue one lol! It is funny because he took a video of his brother’s new house in the capital and they had their pila and I was like well, where is the kitchen sink… and he said no they do all the dishwashing and clothes washing in the pila… I can’t see myself doing that but I can see having one in my garden area for decor… I enjoyed the series of photos to show how they were made, very informative!

  • Stephanie

    Can the molds be used multiple times or only once?

    • @Stephanie, yes the molds are used and reused many times and that’s why they apply burnt oil to the molds so they separate easily. The first pila they make from the molds is kept as a mother pila so they can make new molds from it when eventually they need them.