I start with gathering vines. Gathering vine is always an adventure because sometimes the vine doesn’t want to let go of the tree. This is when it’s helpful to bring a strong friend. In fact there have been times when we have pulled down the tree in the process of pulling on the vine. In extreme cases for exceptionally large vines, a truck with 4 wheel drive and a long cable is necessary. Another extreme method is to chainsaw the tree down, carefully remove the vine, and then cut up the tree for fire wood. Once I have the vine at home I trim off any dead growth, or vine that is too thin to use. I spread the vines out on the ground and take notice of the kinds of shapes that are in the vines. Some would say that I let the vines speak to me. Often I will work from big to small when choosing which vine to work with. As I decide the shape of the basket frames, I tie the frames together as I go. If some vine is particularly wonky, I put the basket frame under something heavy to flatten it out and make it more symmetrical. I typically leave the frame for several weeks (or more) to dry out somewhat before I weave on it. I continue to work on vines for several days, until all the gathered vines have been used to form frames for different kinds of baskets. I stack the frames in the garage to dry out until I’m ready for the next steps.