Carla Hughes grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. After high school, she moved to Austin to live loudly. There she studied art and welding while starting a family. Moving home afforded her the opportunity to finish her BFA at UTPA, concentrating in ceramics and sculpture. After graduation she received a scholarship to attend Penland School of Craft and attended the summer residency program at the Chautauqua Institution. She currently works out of her studio in Harlingen, Texas.