Carlos Dunlap was a son of Carmelita Dunlap. He was a brother to Jeannie Dunlap, Cynthia Dunlap, Linda Dunlap, and Martha Appleaf Fender. Carmelita was a daughter of Juanita Vigil, the youngest sister of Maria Martinez. Carlos learned to make pottery from his mother. He created very large vessels in colorations that ranged from black to polychrome and a distinctive brown. However, it was his painting which remains so spectacular as it was very open and varied in style.