Jon began his bookbinding career in 1974 with Ellen McCrady at the Academy Bindery near Ann Arbor, MI. In 1978 he opened The Brown Bess Bindery in Rochester, MI, which was renamed The Bessenberg Bindery when it was incorporated and relocated to Ann Arbor. In 2010, Bessenberg Bindery was sold to the book manufacturer Thomson-Shore, Inc. For the past 3 1/2 years, Jon managed their hand binding operations, teaching another group of younger hands the craft of hand binding. He retired in July 2014, and has re-established a private studio.
Jon has been a member of the Guild of Bookworkers for more than 25 years. Significant contributors to his knowledge of binding technique are George Hebb, Walter Hahn, Jan Sabota, Monique Lalier, Sylvia Rennie, Don Etherington, and others.