By CHRIS SLACK
Spectacular: Russian vegetable carver Vadim Nefedjev applies the finishing touches to his eagle work during the first ever European carving competition
With steady hand and painstaking concentration, this artist applies the finish touches to his latest spectacular work.
But this sculpture of an eagle is created using a medium many conventional artists may not have considered - fruit and vegetables.
Using a mixture of fruits, the bird was created by Russian vegetable carver Vadim Nefedjev during yesterday's round of competition at the first ever European carving competition in Leipzig in eastern Germany.
The eagle has landed: Nefedjev places the bird on display for judging in the individual competition. He was battling 26 others at the event held in Leipzig, Germany
The competition, which has 26 individual competitors and 11 teams, is part of the 'Gaeste' Trade Fair in the city - which caters for the restaurant, hotel and catering business.
His eagle creation was in competition with carvers from nine different countries.
They included Czech chef Radek Vach, who created a staggering depiction of a Viking's head using only a pumpkin.
Another entrant was Winifried Karras who represented Germany, but chose to centre his piece around a carving of an Asian beauty on a melon.
Staggering: This detailed carving of a Viking's head was created on a pumpkin by Czech Radek Vach, who gets to work on another design in the background
This aubergine penguin, complete with carrot glasses was one entrant, while German carver Winifried Karras chose to centre his piece around a carving of an Asian beauty on a melon
This pair of frogs were created using cucumbers, with their tongues and eyes made from small pieces of carrot
Most fruit and vegetables were used at some point, with one entrant choosing to create a pair of frogs using nothing but a cucumber and strategically place pieces of carrot.
And another saw a penguin crafted from an aubergine, with the designer even crafting a pair of glasses from a carrot.
The pictures here come from the two days of individual competition.
Saturday's entrants had to create two pieces to be used for two cocktails and a plate of vegetables measuring around 30cm in diameter.
Intricate: A woman carves a flower design onto a mango as part of her entry in the competition
And yesterday saw competitors asked to make a show piece to go before the judges.
Within a four hour time limit they had to make the piece using a selection of melons, papayas, cabbages, cucumbers, radish and carrots and pumpkins.
Tomorrow's competition involves teams of three again being given four hours to create a blend of fruit and vegetable carvings of specific locations.
The European competition was founded by China's Xiang Wang, who has been crowned World Champion on two occasions.