There! I knew that putting these in the fridge would be the thing to do (for, as I suspected, in the sudden heat that's overwhelmed NJ, the hands were rapidly losing their soapiness and developing an unpleasantly slimy surface).
It strikes me that I've taken rather a lot of photographs this year (some of which have made it onto this blog, but plenty that haven't) of artificial humans or parts of humans: shop window mannequins, museum dummies - some realistic, some stylized - and now these hands. The more realistic - or the most human-like, whether through pose or expression or faithfully molded detail, the better, and I can only think that this is because of the pleasure of the uncanny, the unheimlich, the this-is-almost-normal-but-it-so-very-much-isn't unsettling quality to them. In turn, I think this represents some kind of desire to subvert the realism of photography - or at least to make one think twice about what one's looking at, to think about how the more-or-less obviously false can look real (though honestly, I don't really want people to think too hard about whether or not I have a bag of severed tiny hands in my fridge, competing for space with the almond butter and blueberries and cans of diet coke...).